Chance to make ethical investments into your own community
Community groups, charities and small businesses in Somerset can now make ethical investments into their immediate community.
Following a change in the common bond of Somerset Savings and Loans, credit union membership is now open to organisations as well as individuals, allowing small businesses or community groups to support worthwhile causes that will benefit their own communities while enjoying a competitive return on their investments.
Treasurer Paul Urch said: “Extending membership to small businesses and community groups will appeal to those organisations with cash available for a more ethical investment in their community.
“It will also give corporate members an opportunity to support families struggling to make ends meet with some much needed financial help - without recourse to payday loan companies.
“This initiative not only makes it easier to ensure your money is used for good causes locally, but it is also aimed at providing a competitive dividend of around two per cent per annum.”
The change in regulations coincides with a massive increase in credit union membership, which has now passed the one million mark with more than £1 billion invested.
Somerset Savings and Loans has seen its own membership rise by more than 150 per cent since a major re-launch earlier this year.
Paul Urch added: “More individual savers have signed up in the last three months than in the whole of 2012. We have also seen steadily increasing traffic to our new website.”
Paul believes the summer success is a reflection of the public’s increasing disillusionment with the traditional banking system coupled with a determination to ensure their money is invested ethically and locally.
Paul said: “By partnering with local businesses and providing finance to local people we are keeping money circulating in the local economy, rather than seeing it disappear to an international bank or national lender.”
Corporate membership is available to charities, small firms and community groups across Somerset.
Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Somerset Savings and Loans is also a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which protects members’ savings up to £85,000.
More information can be found on www.somersetsavingsandloans.org.uk or by calling 01275 390649.