Simon Read: Credit Union deal gives hope for financially-excluded

There was good news this week for more than 160,000 people living in social housing.

National housing association Affinity Sutton will offer its residents the opportunity to join Leeds City Credit Union, giving many access to basic financial services for the first time.

It's a crucial move as social tenants account for three-fifths of the UK's financially-excluded people.

That means they get turned down by banks and have been unable to join a credit union because there's not one nearby.

Many, of course, have fallen into the clutches of unscrupulous payday lenders.

Credit unions do come in for some criticism but helping financially-excluded people is where they shine.

They offer a range of easy-to-understand "jam jar" budgeting accounts, savings and low-cost loans. They can therefore give people a real financial kick-start. More power to them, I say.

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