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SurreySave has been granted permission by the Financial Services Authority to offer services to anyone who lives or works in the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames.
The FSA has registered the amended rules of SurreySave, which include extension of the common bond to Kingston, as required by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965. This means the remit of SurreySave to operate as a credit union has extended to the Royal Borough, with immediate effect.
Kingston Savers, the volunteer group campaigning for a credit union in Kingston, will become community champions for SurreySave, promoting the credit union on the ground.
David Wright, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said 'we have been working hard over time to reach this point. The FSA has reviewed our business plan and agreed that we can provide the long-awaited credit union servies wanted by the people of Kingston.
We know that there are many people in Kingston who need our services, many of whom have been turned away by the mainstream banks. We will provide an alternative to high cost credit and loan sharks - helping families to keep their financial heads above water. We will also be a safe home for people's savings, which are 100% guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. We aim to pay a reasonable dividend to savers who will have the added benefit of knowing that their savings are being put to good use in our local community, helping to support the Kingston economy in these difficult times'.
Hilary Garner, Chief Executive of Kingston Voluntary Action (KVA,) who over the years has championed the development of a credit union for Kingston, welcomed the news. 'I know that a lot of hard work still has to happen to ensure the residents of Kingston can fully utilise the services of a credit union but I wish to pay tribute to the volunteers of Kingston Savers and the professionals of SurreySave in getting us all to this pivotal moment. I would also like to thank the Royal Borough of Kingston Council for their support'.
Michelle Dollard, Chief Executive of SurreySave, said 'my team here at SurreySave and Kingston Savers will be looking to hit the ground running in Kingston from today. We would love to hear from any new Kingston volunteers who would like to help us in promoting the credit union in the Royal Borough. In the meantime we will be working hard to disseminate the message that we are available to all potential customers. This is an exciting time for us and one we have looked forward to'.