August 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, July 11, 2014
A new weapon in the battle against payday lenders has officially opened in the heart of Ipswich.
The new office of the Eastern Savings and Loans credit union at the junction of Crown Street and Westgate Street was formally opened by mayor Bill Quinton.
The office has been converted from a former bakery with support from the borough council – and it aims to lend money to people at a much more reasonable rate than payday loans companies whose interest rates have come under fire over recent months.
The credit union has been trading from the unit for several weeks, and has already managed to encourage more customers through its doors.
Manager Chris Mole said: “Ever since we have been open here there have been a steady amount of new people that we haven’t seen before coming in to ask for our help.
“That is good news because we are often able to help and we charge a much lower rate of interest than the payday loans companies.”
As well as having a presence on one of the busiest streets in the town, next to one of its busiest bus stops, the new office is open much longer hours than the previous Austin Street headquarters – making it much more accessible.
The borough helped the credit union to make the move, and council leader David Ellesmere helped with the opening.
He said: “There is a real need for credit, but it is not right that those who struggle have to pay high rates of interest. This gives them a real alternative and I am delighted to see the credit union now has a presence in the town centre.”