ABCUL, the trade body representing credit unions, has welcomed the London Co-operative Party manifesto launched last week.

Amongst the measures in the London Manifesto for 2012 are calls on the next mayor to complete access to credit unions across London by the end of the mayoral term, to develop existing London credit unions, to set up payroll deduction agreements with London Government staff and contractors, to help build partnerships between credit unions and schools, to encourage secondment from mayoral staff and to encourage staff exchange schemes and training from City of London professionals.

A recently-published report by Liverpool John Moores University and Policis, Community finance for London, found that in the five years between 2004 and 2009, credit unions in London grew ahead of the national trend with assets leaping 92%.  It called for greater collaboration behind the scenes and partnerships between credit unions and central and local government in addition to other agencies to take London credit unions to the next level.

Mark Lyonette, ABCUL Chief Executive, said: “The measures in the Co-operative Party’s mayoral manifesto represent a strong package of support and assistance which would greatly enhance credit unions in our capital.

“Set in the context of a rapidly growing credit union sector in London, strong support from the London Assembly and Mayor would be another piece in the jigsaw recommended in the recent report.

“We hope that all mayoral candidates will consider measures to support a strong credit union sector in London just as the Co-operative Party has done.”