Manchester Credit Union unites with Greater Manchester Community Credit Unions to unveil £15m support in Covid recovery plan

Manchester Credit Union has joined forces with seven other credit unions across Greater Manchester to launch a Covid-19 recovery plan that will offer hope and a total of £15m in financial support to millions of people across Greater Manchester.

Manchester Credit Union, which currently has more than 10,000 members across the city, as well as , Bury, Rochdale, Tameside, Trafford and the High Peak, has made £6 million available to lend to local people in need of affordable credit, who may otherwise turn to high cost lenders.

The consortium, known as Sound Pound, wants to show communities across Greater Manchester that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that their local community credit union is there to support them at this time of uncertainty and financial hardship with an affordable loan package.

Christine Moore, chief executive of Manchester Credit Union, said: “We have come together to launch this joint recovery plan with a clear objective – to rebuild our communities, support our people and lend responsibly.

“We want to encourage anyone who is struggling financially due to the impact of Covid to speak to their us about their borrowing needs. This Christmas can often be a difficult time for people and this year, with the impact of the pandemic, we want to make sure people feel they can take control of their money matters without turning to unscrupulous lenders who won’t have their best interests at heart.

“By offering people affordable credit, it will benefit the whole city, too – by increasing spending and keep our economy moving forward. It’s a cycle and, if we work together, we can keep going.”

The Sound Pound consortium is made up of Manchester Credit Union, South Manchester Credit Union, Stockport Credit Union, Cash Box Credit Union (Tameside), Unify Credit Union (Wigan), Hoot Credit Union (Bolton), Salford Credit Union and Oldham Credit Union. All eight have signed up to the initiative in order to provide support to their local communities.

Credit Unions are ethical, not-for-profit financial organisation. They are there to put people first and to help anyone who needs financial support. Credit unions also help people to save for the future and become financially resilient.

David Batten, chair of the Sound Pound consortium, said: “Our communities are really struggling right now. Many who never experienced debt or hardship before, are facing a very uncertain future and we can help. Because of the unique way that credit unions operate, we are able to lend money to help them with their day to day living costs and at the same time help them save for a more secure future.”

Christine continued: “Credit Unions offer support to local people whatever their needs are. Whether they are a single parent struggling to make ends meet, are looking for a deposit for their first home or need some help with managing their finances and putting some money away. Credit unions are also there to support local businesses and we offer a range of support services to help them with the increasing pressures they are currently experiencing.

“Our Sound Pound recovery plan has been created to rebuild communities, support people and lend responsibly and it will play a crucial role in driving our local economy forward, helping all of us to build back better from the impacts being felt by our communities across Greater Manchester due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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