I read Lesley Riddoch’s article, “Dare we use alternatives to banks?” (Perspective, 17 September), with great interest and have a simple answer to her question: yes.
She highlights the dissatisfaction many people have with their current banking arrangements and it is rare that a day goes by without a negative financial services story in the press.
Now is indeed the time for credit unions to strike to attract what she describes as the “bank-weary squeezed middle”.
She does, however, highlight some barriers for the credit union movement in its efforts to win new business from non-traditional markets, but she and many others should be reassured that these obstacles are being removed at a rapid rate.
My own organisation is launching a new IT platform from the beginning of next month to address many of the issues she raises and this will also allow us to offer a much wider product range.
What most people do not realise is that credit unions generally offer very competitive rates for savings and loans already.
We are also nearing the end of a process of rule changes, with final approval from the Financial Services Authority received just last week, which will allow us to deal with corporate customers, not just individuals.
We are constantly asked about corporate accounts by local businesses and charities who want a return to the days of what Ms Riddoch describes as personal contact.
Those days are almost upon us for the business community and have always been there for our individual members.
Goodbye to the banks and hello credit unions? Watch this space.
Capital Credit Union
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
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