Caerphilly-based credit union Smart Money Cymru has announced a merger with the Plaid Cymru Credit Union.
The second expansion follows Smart Money Cymru’s merger with the Islwyn Credit Union in July this year.
A total of 309 members from the Plaid Cymru Credit Union have joined Smart Money Cymru’s 6,000-strong membership.
The Plaid Cymru Credit Union was first registered in 1984 and at its height had a membership of 600 – including senior figures in the political party – and administered loans totalling £2m.
But due to the lack of members wishing to serve at board level and the increasing amount of regulation, the credit union decided to seek a merger.
Stuart Fisher, Director of Plaid Cymru Credit Union, said: “We could have chosen to join up with any credit union in Wales but in Smart Money Cymru we have chosen a forward-thinking, progressive and modern credit union for the benefit of our members.”
Mark White, chief executive of Smart Money Cymru, said he was pleased his organisation was chosen for the merger.
Mr White explained that Smart Money Cymru’s range of services and products were attractive to the smaller union, in particular its plans to move to offering more digital solutions for its members.
Smart Money Cymru has just celebrated 30 years of serving the community. In that time it has grown into a sophisticated organisation offering a wide variety of financial services to individuals, businesses and charities.
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What’s a credit union?
Credit unions are financial co-operatives that offer a safe and secure place for people to save and borrow.
They are owned by the people who use their services, and not by external shareholders or investors.
Mark White, chief executive of Smart Money Cymru, added: “The credit union philosophy is to be financially sympathetic to its members and offer fair and reasonable access to finance and financial services where we can.”
Smart Money Cymru offers financial services for its members online and via a smartphone app. It also works with businesses to offer payroll deduction savings to employees through its Invisible Saver scheme.
“Helping local people”
Caerphilly Town Mayor Mike Prew has praised Smart Money Cymru’s services on a recent visit to their base on Cardiff Road.
Cllr Prew said: “I am a customer of Smart Money Cymru myself and I know that they have a mindset which is to help the customer and not to make a profit.
“Unlike the banks, they are trying to increase their presence in town centres for face-to-face contact as well as online. This can only benefit the town centre as a whole.
“As this crisis goes on, more and more people are looking for help with basics such as food and rent. I urge them not to go to the crooked money lenders among us.
“If they need financial support , whether its due to the pandemic or not, consider contacting our local credit union first. It’s a Welsh business helping local people.”
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