The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced that he will be backing the CCCN (Church Credit Champions Network) in an attempt to give payday lenders a run for their money. It is now the second time that the church has come forward in support of the unions and with the intention of putting payday lenders out of business.
The Bishop of Stepney, Adrian Newman says, “You can either winge about the Wongas of this world or you can provide an attractive alternative.” However, the Church of England had faced a scandal the previous year when it came to light that they had actually invested funds in the international payday corporation. The excuse given was that the funds had been invested indirectly as part of a portfolio, but one year later, they still have not completely cut ties with that company. At the same time, the Church denounces the practices of the industry altogether in an attempt to put the companies that they invest in out of business. In this light, the CCCN wants to start a scheme that will give church goers access to financial advice in church.
The CCCN will train members to give financial advice in church
The CCCN plans to start a scheme for training church members to be able to give financial advice to anyone who seeks it. Using Church premises, the advisers will be able to help people with their budgets, how to open an account and how to apply for loans and other credit. No money will be exchanged in the church, and members will be directed to the nearest credit union to open an account. The Church has launched pilot programmes in London, Southwark, and Liverpool. Saint James church in Clapton, East End of London has already begun offering financial advice in church. Their church works with the LCCU (London Community Credit Union) This credit union has 16000 members who collectively own it and benefit from it.
Senior network co-ordinator of the CCCN, David Barclay said, “We still see the effects of payday lending on deprived communities and the way they exploit people’s need for credit.”
400 Credit unions in the UK, not many payday loans
The credit unions can offer cheap loans mainly because they are owned by their members, but not many of them offer a ‘payday’ like loan. Some credit unions will offer short term loans that can be taken out over a month, but not many. It is still a gap that the credit unions will need to close if they want to get in and the swim with the big fish.