The Scottish Co-operative Party has been a long-standing advocate of credit unions. We know that these financial co-operatives can make a real difference in our communities.

Everyone in Scotland can be a member of a credit union and we would encourage anyone who isn’t yet a member to join a credit union. Credit unions are for everyone. We support payroll deductions for credit unions. Employers should offer this as part of the standard range of benefits on offer to workers.

We believe that credit unions can improve the financial health of the community by encouraging regular saving and responsible borrowing.

Scottish Co-operative Party MSP candidates sign the ABCUL Charter

We have seen great work in schools across Scotland to promote credit unions and we fully support ABCUL’s call for a credit union champion in every primary and secondary school. This champion should facilitate the pupil’s involvement with credit unions. We would go further and support schemes like the ‘Starter for 10’ scheme in Glasgow, where Glasgow City Council, a co-operative council, has given each First Year pupil £10 to save in a local credit union. The Scottish Co-operative Party thinks that local versions of this should be developed across Scotland.

Like ABCUL we have long advocated teaching about credit unions and the co-operative model in schools, colleges and universities. The Scottish Co-operative Party believes that it is important to look at alternative economic models and that our young people should be taught about them.

We believe that it is important that the capacity of credit unions in Scotland is sustained. We would go further and look for ways to provide a more level playing field by, for example, finding ways of getting credit unions on our High Streets to combat pay-day lenders. The Scottish Co-operative Party believes that it is important to support credit unions as an ethical alternative in the financial sector.

We agree with ABCUL that credit unions should be promoted as an affordable means of securing credit for people from every part of Scottish society.

Scottish Co-operative Party MSPs will work to promote credit unions. The Scottish co-operative Party will work with the credit union sector to deliver a Credit Union Nation.