Credit Union opens in Ipswich

A NEW shark-busting initiative for Ipswich people with money worries has come to town in the shape of a credit union.The union in Austin Street has officially opened after three years of hard work and determination.

A NEW shark-busting initiative for Ipswich people with money worries has come to town in the shape of a credit union.

The union in Austin Street has officially opened after three years of hard work and determination.

People who may not be able to take out such things as bank loans can now save money and take out loans without falling into the hands of unlicensed money lenders.

But the Union is open to anyone who wants to use it – not just to people who may be in financial difficulty.


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Chris Mole, Ipswich MP, officially opened the credit union and the ceremony was also attended by Ipswich Mayor, Maureen Carrington-Brown.

Mr Mole said: "This is an important resource for Ipswich. I am not sure that credit unions help people who are already in trouble but they can help to avoid falling prey to loan sharks."

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The credit union has been in formation for the last three years after it was revealed that the centre of Ipswich was one of the areas where a number of people were in financial difficulties.

Mr Mole said: "As a consequence of that, people at the Centre of Ipswich project were given around £500,000 from the Single Regeneration Budget to help communities in difficulty."

The East of England Development Agency also gave cash.

Anyone who wants to become a member has to pay just £1 to join. They can then start putting in their savings. When they have been saving for three months they are entitled to take out a loan, for a maximum of twice their savings for the first loan and three times for a second one.

Other benefits include free life insurance on savings.

Ian Grimwood, Ipswich Borough Councillor is on the union's board of directors. He said: "This is a good form of self help for people.

"It is a financial co-operative to encourage people to save money."

Pam Grimwood, union secretary said: "Some people seem frightened to save at the moment because they don't think they have enough money to do so – but they can."

n The union is open for business every Wednesday and Friday from 10.30pm until 1.30pm.

For further information call 01473 690690.

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