International Credit Union Day 19th October 2023

Advance Credit Union reports highest ever membership and annual level of lending to support its communities across the Birmingham region.

19th October 2023 –  Advance Credit Union, which supports people who live or work within the Birmingham postcode to take control of their finances, is celebrating International Credit Union Day today and highlighting its significant increase in membership over the last financial year, with over 860 new members, to bring its total membership to over 6000.

Over the last year, Advance Credit Union has helped over 3500 individuals with personal finance in just over 6000 individual loan transactions in every part of Birmingham and its suburbs from Redditch to Tamworth and Solihull to Oldbury. It is using this milestone to remind other people in the Birmingham postcode region that Credit Unions are growing, and ready to help them to save and to access affordable credit if the need arises.

International Credit Union Day is a time to celebrate and recognise the significant impact of Credit Unions worldwide. It is an occasion to appreciate the immense value they bring to their members and communities, promoting financial empowerment and fostering economic development.

Advance Credit Union has been a vital and supportive organisation in Birmingham, and its Chair of the Board, Helen Torresi, says its work has never been more important, with the cost-of-living crisis meaning more people are facing financial hardship. Credit union members are, more than ever, seeing the value of saving as much or as little as they can as well as possible access to a loan, if needed, rather than needing to resort to high cost lenders or unregulated loan sharks.

Over the last year, Advance Credit Union lending grew by 14.1% across the year, with £3.24 million loaned compared to £2.84 million in the previous year. Helen Torresi, Chair of the Board, continues: “We work very hard within our community and as we’re member-owned and not-for-profit, our sole aim is to make people’s lives easier by offering financial security. The cost-of-living crisis is tough for everyone, and it makes it all the more vital that people, in the Birmingham area are aware that the credit union movement is here to support them. We don’t have the marketing budgets of mainstream banks so not enough people know what we do and how we can support them, so we’re really pleased to see the excellent membership growth we have achieved this year.”

The credit union is based in Birmingham, with branches in Erdington and in the City Centre on Corporation Street, with many members also make use of its online and mobile banking services. Advance Credit Union has made major investments in computer systems to support its members. To join, a person needs to either live or work within the Birmingham postcode.