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Healthy start for new credit union

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SHETLAND Islands Credit Union is looking for new volunteers after a promising start last weekend when 33 new members signed up and deposited several thousand pounds in saving accounts in the first few hours of trading.

The new credit union opened its doors at 8 Hillhead, in Lerwick, for the first time at 10.30am on Saturday.

A spokesman said some new members had previously been in credit unions elsewhere and were pleased to have this opportunity in Shetland.

It has taken the  steering group several years to set up the organisation, mainly due to the painstaking process of evaluation by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Run entirely by volunteers, the office is open twice a week, on Wednesdays between 5.30 and 7pm, and on Saturdays between 10.30am and 1pm.

Chairman Gordon Mitchell said the credit union had received enthusiastic local support and would “bring many benefits to local people and the local community”.

Director Maurice Mullay added: “The level of enthusiasm for a local credit union has been heartening and the people we have seen at the weekend have been particularly enthusiastic for the convenient savings and low cost loan arrangements.

“This is a safe and secure environment for savings which are protected by the Financial Services Authority and members will receive a share of profits. Members will be dealing with friendly local people who understand local circumstances; no call centres or language difficulties.

“If anyone is interested in the services and benefits of a credit union or to have a secure local depository for savings, we will be delighted to meet and discuss how Shetland Islands Credit Union can be of service.”

The organisation is also looking for volunteers to offer a range of services and extend the current limited opening hours.

Anyone with a few hours available is invited to join the credit union team to benefit the local community. Training is provided for what can be a rewarding position and a valuable credit on a CV, Mr Mullay added.

Shetland Islands Credit Union is also online at www.shetlandcreditunion.org from where a membership application form can be downloaded.

Photo: Some of the board members at the opening of Shetland Islands Credit Union; back row (left to right): Maurice Mullay, Tom Stove, Wendy Hand, John Hunter, Steven Coutts and Jeff Goddard. Front row: Charles Christie-Henry, Trevor Tindall, Capt. Gordon Mitchell.

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