North Wales credit union celebrated for supporting residents

A north Wales credit union has won a prestigious national award for helping residents access essential financial services in regions where they had been withdrawn.

Cambrian Credit Union received the Credit Unions of Wales “Access to Financial Services” award from BBC broadcaster Roy Noble OBE at The Pierhead in Cardiff Bay on Thursday October 20 – International Credit Union Day.

Ann Francis, Chief Executive of Cambrian Credit Union said: “We are delighted to receive this accolade in light of the tireless work undertaken in Flintshire to help those residents who were unable to save or borrow from an ethical financial cooperative because the services were withdrawn locally.

“We recognise how important financial services such as ours are to people in Wales, particularly at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is putting added strain on each and every one of us.”

After All Flintshire Credit union went into administration Cambrian Credit Union was approached to offer a full financial service to the people of the county.

Many people would not have been able to access their benefits and would have gone into financial hardship if we had not offered this service.
Without this intervention one member would not have been able to access his benefits as he could not get a bank account.

Working out of the Kim Inspire Office, a mental health charity in Holywell four days a week, Cambrian offers a full cash service and ensured the two members of staff that worked at all Flintshire were able to be kept in employment s.

Cambrian is benefiting from the introduction of new financial software and has introduced an innovative app to make it easier for members to check their savings and make loan applications.

They also run a series of collection points across the region to support their growing membership.

Adrian Davies, Co-founder of NestEgg, who sponsored this category said: “Ensuring access to financial services is more important than ever especially in light of the withdrawal of so many high street banks and financial institutions.
“We applaud Cambrian Credit Union for their innovative approach to supporting not just the residents of Flintshire, but many more communities, at a growing number of hubs across the region.

“The support comes at a crucial time when the cost-of-living crisis means even more people need to access financial support and a wide range of products and services.”

The Welsh Government’s Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: “Credit unions offer an ethical and affordable way of saving and borrowing for us all. They are a way we can contribute as a community to support those who are experiencing hardship, debt and poverty. This is more important than ever in light of the current cost-of-living crisis

“We can all help underpin this ethical borrowing and saving service for those who need it as an alternative to payday loans.

“I believe that together we can make a huge difference to the financial wellbeing of people across our nation.

“Congratulations to all of the winners for all they do to further the incredible work of ethical savings and loan providers across Wales.”

Tom Owens, Manager of Progress Systems Ltd who sponsored the event said: ““The Credit Unions of Wales Awards illustrate the commitment and dedication of businesses, workers, organisations, members and volunteers towards the global credit union movement.

“It shows how credit unions are building communities and helping people manage their finances for a better future.”

Thanks to the ongoing support of Welsh Government, the Credit Unions of Wales Awards took place at The Pierhead on Cardiff Bay before an audience of almost 100 guests.

There were eight categories with a winner and highly commended named for each. The awards were presented by BBC broadcaster Roy Noble OBE.

The Credit Unions of Wales Awards took place on International Credit Union Day (Thursday 20 October)

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