Young savers benefit from £20,000 boost

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Falkirk youngsters’ ability to build a nest egg for the future got a £20,000 cash deposit from the Scottish Government this week.

Communities secretary Angela Constance announced Falkirk and District Credit Union (FDCU) will be one of ten credit unions throughout the country to share in £200,000 of funding to set up new projects in schools designed to financially educate young people.

FDCU, which currently has a membership of 1779 adult members and 601 junior savers, already has nine junior savers clubs at primary schools in the area.

The government money will allow these juniors savers clubs to develop and also produce a new Junior Savers toolkit which will provide booklets and online resources for both credit unions and schools to use to set up their own schemes.

Ms Constance said: “Credit Unions provide safer and more secure opportunities for people to borrow money and are an alternative to pay day lenders, so it’s only right we should highlight their benefits to people from a young age.

“This funding will help Credit Unions set up schemes which will bring maths to life and give children an understanding of the importance of saving and managing money. Through the scheme and our new Junior Savers toolkit, Credit Unions will be able to work with schools to raise awareness of money issues.

“This early work can help to change behaviour, and ultimately play a role in our efforts to reduce inequalities.”

The Junior Savers Scheme is a response to the recent Scotland’s Credit Unions: Investing in our Future report which highlighted the need to improve financial education for young people and recommended partnering with schools to promote schemes run by Credit Unions.

There are currently around 100 Credit Unions in Scotland, with a combined membership of 387,000, while seven per cent of the Scottish population is enrolled in a Credit Union, compared to only 1.5 per cent in England and 2.6 per cent in Wales.