Newry Credit Union is an example of how Credit Unions are becoming even more relevant in Northern Ireland as it celebrated its AGM at the end of its 50th anniversary year.
During this event it was announced that Newry Credit Union attracted more than 250 new members this year alone, now representing almost half of the population of Newry with a membership of 18,450 people.
It advanced loans of close to £12 million pounds during the past year, at least half of which has gone back into the local economy for cars, vans, home improvements, special occasions and even house purchases.
With members receiving a dividend of 1.75% on savings and an interest rebate of 20% on loans the Credit Union has really become a prudent way for both borrowers and savers to make the most of their money.
Liam Quinn, President of Newry Credit Union said, “We are delighted to seen glimmers of hope for the economy starting to come through during our 50th Anniversary year. We started in 1963 with a shareholding of £15 which has over the last 50 years grown to a phenomenal £53 million. Northern Ireland still has a way to go in helping individuals to access affordable, responsible credit and we are very much a part of that. It is staggering to see commercial organisations locally offering credit at rates of up to 2,961% and seeing that many people feel that this is the only option they have.
“We are just coming to the end of 50 years of responsible lending for the people of Newry and I think it is important to look forward to the next 50. People need to start financially planning for the future. We have seen in recent times that no one is recession proof and it is essential that people take responsibility for their finances. Credit Unions such as Newry belong to the people who save and borrow through the service offered. As a financial co-operative we have a responsibility to our members and it was fantastic to have celebrated this 50th anniversary milestone knowing almost half of the population of Newry put their trust in the services we have to offer.”
From this week Newry Credit Union will be distributing more than £1.7 million to members through interest rebates and share dividends.