LEEDS Credit Union is celebrating the success of its recent festive campaign, as results show it saved the local community £3.13million in high interest payments in the run up to Christmas.

Whilst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ever changing lockdown restrictions meant Christmas 2020 was a time of sadness and anxiety for many, the Credit Union helped ensure that many avoided adding extra stress by taking out high interest loans from unethical loan sharks and payday or doorstep lenders.

Through the promotion of its low interest loan offering and additional informational content illustrating the perils of sky-high APRs. This was also at a time when such unscrupulous lenders were maliciously targeting some of Leeds’ worst hit postcodes.

A survey conducted amongst the Credit Union’s 37,000 members in December last year also showed that more than 20% of people in the local community were reliant on borrowing or credit to pay for Christmas - making the campaign even more important for thousands of households. Chris Smyth, Managing Director at Leeds Credit Union, said: “LCU was determined to ensure those struggling to cope financially this Christmas, don’t turn to unethical payday, doorstep or loan shark lenders, and we are delighted to have helped keep £3.13million in the pockets of those that need it most across the region. Undeniably, we are living in a time of never before seen uncertainty, with many finding themselves in unexpected financial difficulties. It has never been more important that as a Credit Union, we step up and ensure as many people as possible across the region have access to affordable and ethical borrowing, and that they are kept away from those looking to take advantage of the situation.”