New members flock to capital’s credit union

Capital Credit Union has reported an almost 50 per cent surge in new members for the first half of the financial year, suggesting money cooperatives are growing in popularity.

Capital Credit Union CEO Marlene Shiels hailed pleasing results in a difficult market. Picture: Contributed
Capital Credit Union CEO Marlene Shiels hailed pleasing results in a difficult market. Picture: Contributed

The Edinburgh-based credit union has seen a 49 per cent increase in customers signing up for its services compared with the opening six months of last year, with 1,350 members joining in the period.

It also reported a hike in personal loans, which have risen by 32 per cent to £4.3 million, and mortgage lending, which is up by 20 per cent.

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Chief executive Marlene Shiels attributed the surge in new business to increased investment in marketing and business development.

This includes partnerships with more than 70 employes in the east of Scotland.

Shiels also cited the November launch of the Scottish Government’s “People, Not Profit” credit union membership campaign, supported by actor Michael Sheen, as raising the cooperative’s profile.

She said: “These are very pleasing half-year results in what has been a difficult market for those in financial services. People are switching on to the benefits of credit union membership and we now have over 23,000 members in total.

“We have benefited from a recognition that it has never been more important for people to borrow responsibly and from ethical sources.”

Capital, which turns 30 this year, is poised to announce a “tech makeover” in the next quarter as part of an ambitious digital transformation strategy as it aims to attract younger members.