Suffolk/Norfolk: Credit unions discuss plans for merger

Sally Chicken and Chris Mole at the credit union.

Sally Chicken and Chris Mole at the credit union. - Credit: Archant

The three credit unions serving people across the region are hoping to come together to create a new competitor to payday loan companies.

The Ipswich and Suffolk Credit Union has linked up with the Rainbow Savers Anglia and Norfolk credit unions to discuss a merger.

ISCU General Manager Chris Mole said, “The directors of ISCU have expressed interest in merging with our two neighbouring credit unions because we believe this will enable us to serve our members better and reach out to more people to provide an alternative to payday and other high cost lenders”.

Sally Chicken chair of the Rainbow Saver Anglia Credit Union added, “We have been working closely with ISCU for a number of years and we want to enable our members to benefit from being part of a larger and stronger organisation.”

The new union would have 13,000 members – there are currently 5,500 members of the ISCU.

Mr Mole said its size would be a major strength: “At the moment we are among the smaller unions, but this merger would create a much larger organisation.

“We would look to rationalise the management, but we would certainly look to continue to operate in all the towns we currently do across the three counties.”

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Credit unions recently hit the headlines after the Archbishop of Canterbury offered them support in a bid to offer loans at better deals than payday loan companies.

All three credit unions say they would continue to provide local service to their members while developing new services.

Merger proposals are subject to regulatory approval, due diligence consideration by the boards and the approval of the membership of each credit union.