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Unite launches credit union to take on 'rip-off' lenders

Unite boss Len McCluskey wants to take on "parasitic" payday lenders. Credit: PA

Unite the union is to launch a new credit union, open only members, to take on payday lenders such as Wonga.

“We are determined to wipe out rip-off payday lenders and ensure that they can’t make profits by exploiting victims of the financial downturn," Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said.

"Unite's new credit union service ensures our members can access finance without fear and helps keep them out of the clutches of parasitic lenders."

Credit unions are not-for-profit organisations offering loans, savings and current accounts to their members.

More: Who can join credit unions and how do they work?

What are credit unions?

  • Credit unions are small non-profit financial organisations set up by members with something in common to benefit their community.
  • That common factor may be living in the same town, working in the same industry (for example, the Police Credit Union) or belonging to a particular trade union.
  • Roughly 500 credit unions cover the UK offering loans, savings and current accounts to their members. A few even offer mortgages. Almost a million Brits are members.