The Manx Credit Union held its official opening on the 19th January 2017 at the credit union's offices on North Quay, Douglas. It is the first credit union to be set up on the Isle of Man and offers an alternative and ethical way for local people to save and borrow money.
Formed as a financial co-operative and run by volunteers who give their time freely, the Manx Credit Union is only open to residents of the Isle of Man. Members join by opening a share savings account which allows them to save regularly up to £5,000 in total and also gives them a say in the running of the credit union. Once they have become a regular saver, members can apply for a low-cost loan.
Unlike mainstream banks, credit unions are not for profit organisations with no external shareholders to pay. Any surplus made is reinvested in expanding the credit union's services or returned to the members as a dividend. As responsible lenders, credit unions will only make loans appropriate to an individual's circumstance and their ability to repay over an agreed timescale.
In addition to savings and loans, the Manx Credit Union will also help provide financial education and promote financial literacy to its members.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Talbot said: "The launch of the Manx Credit Union today represents a huge achievement for all the people who could see the value that such an organisation has for those living on the Isle of Man. In an age where we are encouraged to spend beyond our means on credit, and where payday loans can quickly escalate out of control, the credit union offers a way for people to nurture a savings habit and to borrow within their means.
The Manx Credit Union is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm, and on Thursdays from 5pm to 7pm. More information is available on the website www.mcu.im, where you can also complete a membership form online, and on the facebook page www.facebook.com/ManxCreditUnion. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 659149