SUNDERLAND BUSINESSES ENCOURAGED TO SIGN UP FOR A SCHEME TO KEEP EMPLOYEES OUT OF DEBT...

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Sunderland BID has joined forces with one of the region’s leading credit unions to encourage businesses to sign up to its Payroll Savings Scheme.

Moneywise Credit Union is already working with Sunderland City Council on a savings and loans partnership, where council employees can take advantage of a savings scheme and an ethical loans system.

And now the BID is working with Newcastle-based Moneywise to introduce the benefits of being part of a credit union to other organisations across the city – which can sign up for free.

The BID is using next week’s (9-13 November) Talk Money Week, which aims to turn a spotlight on how to handle financial matters, to highlight the advantages of being part of the scheme.

And that includes helping out employees who may be considering borrowing money at high interest rates from loan sharks because they feel they have no other options.

Credit unions were set up originally to create a financial “community” to help people who could not get loans or help from the more established institutions.

Moneywise Credit Union has been in operation since 1991 and since that time has grown across the North East, delivering services in Teesside, Durham and across Tyne and Wear.

As part of its remit in Sunderland, Moneywise is wanting employers to sign up for their payroll savings scheme which means that money can be taken directly and kept in the individual’s saving account.

Employees can sign up for free and then an agreed amount will go into their account direct from their wages every month, which can easily be accessed when they need it.

Once they have started saving, staff can then apply for a low interest loan of up to £15,000, which is based around the individual’s ability to afford it and how long they have been part of the credit union.

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, is hoping that businesses will look at the advantages of the scheme for their staff.

“Many people are more stretched financially than ever before and may decide to borrow money with a high interest rate because that the only option they feel they have,” she said.

“Credit unions offer a whole host of options and because they operate in a highly ethical manner, they can provide a really viable solution for both saving and borrowing.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Moneywise, which has such a good record and has a scheme which has great advantages for both staff and employers.”

Phil Goad, Chair of Moneywise said he was delighted to be working in partnership with the BID and Sunderland City Council to bring Credit Union facilities to residents and businesses in Sunderland.

“We are proud to offer a more local and ethical alternative for saving and lending,” he said.

“We are very aware that local people and businesses are having to adapt to changing financial circumstances and we want to let them know that we are able to offer affordable and ethical loans to buy essential goods for their homes, such as washing machines, TVs and fridge freezers or loans to help towards the cost of Christmas.”

For further information or to sign up, email  annie.murphy@moneywise.org.uk

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