PROSPER MAGAZINE: ISSUE 01 | ETHICAL FINANCE
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNITIES BENEFIT FROM ETHICAL APPROACH
Recent studies have revealed that 55% of people in the West Midlands have less than £100 in savings and that an individual’s money worries negatively impact in the workplace and cause stress and anxiety which ultimately affects business productivity.
This information has formed the backdrop to an initiative which has seen the region’s four credit unions; City Credit Union, Castle & Crystal, Walsave and 6 Towns joining forces with the Chamber of Commerce and Just Finance Foundation Black Country.
The campaign is part of Chamber President, Julie Cunninghams’ commitment that ethical finance activities should form part of a business’ corporate and social responsibility agenda and that employees and the local community have an alternative option to payday loans and lenders with high-interest rates when they need to borrow money.
Working with Wolverhampton City Credit Union, employees at the Chamber are now able to save directly from their monthly pay
They can also access their savings at any time with the knowledge that individuals from the local community can access competitive rates on loans.
Announcing the initiative at a recent event to showcase the ways businesses can be more ethical with contributions from Paycare, BCRS Business Loans and Money Pensions UK and attendees from the other region’s other three credit unions; Julie Cunningham said: “We’re delighted to be working with Wolverhampton Credit Union on this fantastic initiative. Ethical finance is an area which I am extremely passionate about, so I’m keen to raise the profile of credit unions in the Black Country. It was standing room only at our fantastic event, proving that businesses and the public want to know more about ethical lending and borrowing.”
Wolverhampton City Credit Union CEO Rob Shearing, added, “We're so proud to now be working with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce to promote payroll deduction to their employees. It’s important that employers include financial health as part of employee wellbeing, as money worries can cause stress and impact negatively on employees’ work performance. It’s not a subject that people feel comfortable discussing at work, but 1 in 4 employees lose sleep due to money worries.”
Also speaking at the event was financial expert and Chair of Just Finance Sir Hector Hants who highlighted how by being a good employer and corporate citizen, businesses have a role to play in championing ethical practices when it comes to financial matters from choosing suppliers which align to their values and promoting socially-responsible corporate borrowing and lending. Just Finance’s Development Worker for the Black Country, Rev Cassius Francis said, “We are working with the Chamber as part of their campaign around ethical finance and are excited to be partnering with them and our four Black Country Credit Unions in building a movement for financial resilience across the Black Country.”