John Harris

Journalist & Author

What are your experiences of credit unions? | John Harris

We want to look at whether credit unions offer an alternative to big finance, so please share your knowledge with us

Anywhere But Westminster is now nearly 18 months old. Since late 2010, we’ve tended to focus on two different themes: changes that are adversely affecting thousands of lives, from the cuts, through welfare shakeups, to corporate restructuring; and, a little less often, how people are pointing the way to something better by taking the initiative themselves. The best example is the film and article we did about mutualised football clubs, and the case of Chester FC.

In the same spirit, we now want to shine light on credit unions, and the difference they make to communities up and down the country. In doing so, we’ll look at plenty of associated subjects: the failures of big high street banks, the credit crisis afflicting small businesses, Britain’s burdensome personal debt levels, and the companies who make the problem even worse by offering loans at cut-throat rates of interest. Credit unions offer an admirable alternative – but can they work for entire communities? And if so, is there a model here that might offer an alternative to big finance?

If you know of a credit union that would merit some serious coverage, tell us in the thread below, or email The same applies if you’ve had direct experience of dealing with a credit union, if you work for one, or if you’ve got any informed opinions about this fascinating element of the economy. We’ll be back on the thread throughout the day.

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