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Don’t bank on the bank

With Barclays Bank in Dursley closing in November, former Labour councillor Geoff Wheeler looks at alternative ways of managing your finances

With Barclays Bank in Dursley closing in November, former Labour councillor Geoff Wheeler looks at alternative ways of managing your finances

At a time when big banks are closing their branches in small towns, the Labour Party are supporting other means of obtaining loans and safe saving facilities.

Loans from Stroud Valleys Credit Union are low cost, fair and flexible. They do not charge set up fees or penalise for early repayment. Don’t go to a payday lender!

If you want to save for a rainy day the Credit Union provides a secure and simple way for you to save your money. Your savings are safe and are kept in the local community. If you save regularly you can borrow at extra low rates.

You can contact the Credit Union on-line at https://svcu.org.uk/, or visit them at Berkeley Town Hall (Opening hours: Tuesdays, 9.30 to 11am) or in Dursley at Treetops Children’s Centre, Highfields (Opening hours: Fridays, 2.30 to 4pm).

Cam, Dursley and Berkeley Labour Party also support Avon Mutual (which covers Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bristol, Bath & North Somerset) as part of a wider movement led by the Community Savings Bank Association to develop a UK-wide network of customer-owned, regional banks. These banks will bring a range of social and economic benefits to the region, including:

  • Tackling financial exclusion through providing universal access to banking facilities for all citizens
  • Increasing productivity by investing in small businesses, with well informed decisions made by local branch managers
  • Creating new local jobs with Head Offices based in the region rather than in London

Avon Mutual will be an ethical and sustainable alternative to the big banks and will support small local enterprises focussed on issues such as building zero carbon homes and developing sustainable food and farming. It will fill a gap in the UK investment landscape which is well served by community banks across Europe.