For immediate release: Sunday 6th October


Today, Jim Murphy Shadow Secretary of State for Defence backed the Co-operative Party’s call for a dedicated credit union for British service men and women, at the Party’s annual conference in Edinburgh.

A similar scheme in America, Navy Federal, has 4 million members of the US armed forces. A British equivalent would help protect service families from the scourge of pay day loan companies and begin to tackle the worrying levels of financial difficulties experienced by veterans being reported by the Royal British Legion*.

The military charity’s research has found that around a third of the veterans, including almost half of the recently injured, experienced financial difficulties. The proposal has the potential to benefit many of the 12,000 serving personnel based in Scotland.

Labour and Co-operative MPs will table a motion in Westminster calling on the Government to back the idea at the start of next week.

Gareth Thomas MP, Chair of the Co-operative Party said:
“With even our soldiers and sailors now being targeted by pay day loan companies it is time we injected new energy into the credit union market across Britain. Families across Scotland are feeling the pinch but serving personnel and veterans face particular challenges and we owe them a better deal. That is why we need action now from the Coalition government and military top brass to make this happen.”

Jim Murphy MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence said:
“We must protect those who protect our nation, whether from undue debt or exploitative lenders. This is an excellent idea which could make a real difference to the daily lives of those who serve our nation. Personnel can be vulnerable during service but also when transitioning from military to civilian life so everyone who values our Forces should back this new plan.”


Notes to Editors

  • The Co-operative Party is the Party of social justice.
  • We believe that people will achieve more by working together than they can by working alone. We support the efforts of those who seek success through the co-operative endeavour.
  • We believe that the only way to create a just and fair society is through power being spread evenly throughout society, and not arbitrarily based on wealth, class, gender or race.
  • We work to promote co-operatives and all forms of mutual organisation.
  • We work in partnership with the Labour Party as its sister party to achieve these ends.


For further information contact:

  • Claire McCarthy, Head of External and Political Affairs at the Co-operative Party on 07702 512357