Credit union March Rainbow Savers opens offering alternative to payday loan companies

PUBLISHED: 15:28 14 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:46 14 January 2014

March Rainbow Savers Launch. Jean and Richard Conway with volunteer Karin Hewitt

March Rainbow Savers Launch. Jean and Richard Conway with volunteer Karin Hewitt

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A credit union set up in March has had an encouraging response.

March Rainbow Savers Launch .Customers John Farrow (left) and Richard and Jean Conway with volunteers Sue Thornton, Susanna Martins and Karin Hewitt and FDC’s Ross McGivern (far left) March Rainbow Savers Launch .Customers John Farrow (left) and Richard and Jean Conway with volunteers Sue Thornton, Susanna Martins and Karin Hewitt and FDC’s Ross McGivern (far left)

March Rainbow Savers opened for business last Wednesday at Fenland District Council’s one-stop shop in Broad Street.

It offers safe savings accounts, small loans at low interest rates and free life assurance - providing an alternative to banks, building societies, doorstep lenders and payday loan companies.

March Rainbow Savers is the latest branch of the Rainbow Savers Anglia credit union, which operates across East Anglia.

It has the support of Fenland District Council, the March Children’s Centre, Roddons Housing Association and March Rotary Club.

March Rainbow Savers Launch. Volunteers Sue Thornton, Susanna Martins and Karin Hewitt March Rainbow Savers Launch. Volunteers Sue Thornton, Susanna Martins and Karin Hewitt

Volunteers Susanna Martins, Karin Hewitt and Sue Thornton, together with Ross McGivern, FDC’s senior community support officer, greeted residents at the shop.

FDC Cabinet member Councillor Mike Cornwell said: “This offers a really good way of saving money and for those who need a small loan it offers much better value than most lenders.

“Rainbow Savers opened in Wisbech a year ago and has proved successful there. We think it can do the same for people in March.

“The branch will be run by volunteers and it’s great that some people have already agreed to help. However, we would always welcome more.”

All money paid into members’ accounts is protected by the Government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

People can open an account even if they have been refused one from a bank and they can also open an account for their children.

New members get a paying-in book and a PayPoint card which enables them to deposit money. To take money out they need to fill out a withdrawal form in the shop or call the offices in Peterborough or Lowestoft.

Once they have paid in for 13 weeks they will be able to apply for low interest loans - for example, a £300 loan repaid at £9 per week for 37 weeks will cost about £30 in interest.

March Rainbow Savers is open at the Fenland @ your service shop, Broad Street, each Wednesday, 10am-2pm.

For more details or if you are interested in volunteering there, call Ross McGivern at FDC on 01354 654321 or email rmcgivern@fenland.gov.uk

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