West Sussex Credit Union offering new way to save

(L-R) Julie Coutin, Sue Mason and Alison Terry from the West Sussex Credit Union
(L-R) Julie Coutin, Sue Mason and Alison Terry from the West Sussex Credit Union

Employees and managers are being urged to join an ethical saving scheme set up by the West Sussex Credit Union (WSCU).

By simply filling in a form with the credit union, people can join the Save As You Earn (SAYE) scheme to transfer regular savings straight from their salary.

WSCU is a not-for-profit savings and loan co-operative set up with support from West Sussex County Council in 2008 in response to problems of financial exclusion in the county.

Since then it has loaned £1.4m people in West Sussex in relatively small sums of money as an alternative to high interest lenders such as pay day loan companies.

Volunteers are now increasing the profile of the WSCU payroll saving scheme.

Payroll manager at WSCU Alison Terry said: “We are trying to encourage people to save so people don’t have to use their credit card.

“SAYE is ideal to support people who don’t earn a lot of money and it’s empowering people. It can be just a couple of pounds a month.”

She said managers employing people interested in SAYE do not have lots of paperwork to fill in.

“It’s not a lot of work. There’s a link on the website that employees fill in, which goes to the Credit Union. We tell employers which employees wish to pay and how much to pay in. The beauty of it is employers don’t know what the money is for.”

In their experience, WSCU volunteers find employers are pleased to be able to offer such a valuable benefit for little administrative effort on their part – simply setting up the scheme and publicising it to staff.

Employees have said they find it easy to start to save through their salary and are pleased that they can benefit from preferential rates for loans if they need one in the future.

WSCU prides itself on providing an ethical option for people saving money. Organisations such as West Sussex County Council, the NHS Trust and several other councils and private sector businesses have started working with the Credit Union to offer their staff an option to save as they earn through a payroll deduction scheme.

People do not have to be part of a payroll scheme to save or borrow with WSCU, but only have to live or work in West Sussex. Savings are 100 per cent guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

For more information go to www.westsussexcreditunion.co.uk or call 01903 237221.