Michael Sheen OBE Supports Say No To Debt Row

As Patron of Credit Unions Wales I am fully supporting the “Say No to Debt Row’ campaign. In the run up to International Credit Union Day 2016 I want to increase awareness of the many fantastic credit unions across Wales, your own local financial cooperatives!

According to the Money Advice Trust, a third of 18-24-year-olds in the UK have debts of almost £3,000. Even more worrying is a recent report which stated around 1.6m UK households are living in extreme debt, paying out 40% or more of household income to creditors. Every penny paid, in unnecessarily high interest charges, is money leaving our local communities. The alternative of Credit Unions helps us keep that money in your community and invests in better local support and products to help us all in managing our personal finances.

The pitfalls of high interest credit can affect us all and I believe Credit Unions are a viable alternative whatever your background or circumstances. Often overlooked by many, these local savings and low cost loan providers are authorised and regulated in a similar way to far larger banks and other financial institutions. As not-for-profit community enterprises their priority is always the people that use them rather than having to first satisfy the needs of institutional shareholders. Together we can create a stronger and fairer Welsh economy.

As Patron I am playing my part over the next year to help develop and promote new educational programmes for young people and I’ll be pushing for greater investment and sign ups to local credit unions. Whether you are government, an employer or an individual, we all have a part to play. I am calling on us all to work together in the run up to International Credit Union day on 20th October 2016 to reduce the impact of high interest lending, to encourage employers of all sizes to support payroll savings and to highlight the benefits of credit education and further investment into a fairer system. Join me in supporting the cause and sign up to your local credit union today. Say No to Debt Row.

Michael Sheen

Michael Sheen talks about the need for us all to work together to #solveukpoverty