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Lewisham Plus Credit Union celebrates 25th Anniversary

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09 Mar 18

To conclude its 25th Anniversary year, Lewisham Plus Credit Union (LPCU) hosted an important event with local partners to explore ‘Where next for Financial Inclusion?’

The event was chaired by Chief Executive of Toynbee Hall, Jim Minton and The Mayor of Bromley, Kathy Bance MBE. The mayor has a keen interest in financial inclusion and the relief of poverty. The event hosted forty people drawn from local authorities, the Department for Work & Pensions, social enterprises, churches and credit unions across South London, to hear speakers present their experience, concerns and hopes for a financially inclusive community.

LPCU CEO, Ravi Ravindran, gave an outline of how the credit union has developed and grown over 25 years, now having three branches in South London serving 10,600 adults, employees of 17 organisations and 1,600 junior members.

Speaking about their progression as a successful credit union, Ravi said: “LPCU is an example of how from very humble beginnings, a few determined individuals with vision and passion can create an institution that helps to deliver financial inclusion to the wider community. This was our final event of our 25th year celebrations, showcasing the results of our work over the years and our history of collaboration with local and national institutions to eradicate financial exclusion.”

Guest speakers at the event included: Sebastian Taylor, Head of Customer Service for Phoenix Community Housing Association; Mick Lear, Head of Benefits for Lewisham Council; and Gareth Evans, of the Financial Inclusion Centre. 

Before the final panel session, Professor Bill Lee, of the University of Sheffield, gave a comparison of credit unions in the UK and in New Zealand. Credit union membership in the UK has doubled to 3.1% of the population over ten years, compared to 6-7% in New Zealand.

 

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