Councillor Philip Saxton (centre) launches the partnership between South Ayrshire Council and 1st Alliance Credit Union.
A low cost and easily accessible alternative to mainstream banking has been launched, thanks to an exciting new partnership between South Ayrshire Council and 1st Alliance Credit Union.
Offering a wide range of financial services and benefits, including current accounts, low cost loans, flexible savings and savings insurance – the partnership has a range of essential, day-to-day banking products, not always available for some residents from normal High Street banks.
Launching the new service Councillor Robin Reid, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance said: "1st Alliance Credit Union is open to all residents and offers a superb, convenient, low-cost alternative to normal banking.
"It's easy to join and, importantly, it works for the direct mutual benefit of its members and not shareholders, meaning all profits are reinvested in the business, keeping costs down.
"We can help you with opening a bank account, managing your money, saving and budgeting. They'll guide you through how to pay rent, or plan your finances to meet regular bills.
The new partnership also comes just before significant changes to the way many benefit payments are made come into effect.
Towards autumn, the introduction of Universal Credit see a number of different benefits rolled into one single monthly payment – made to one person in the household – and directly to a bank account.
Councillor Philip Saxton, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio for Housing added: "For some of our tenants and benefit claimants, the changes to their payments and frequency will be challenging.
"Some might not have a bank account, or know how to open one and others may not have had to budget or manage their finances on a monthly basis.
"We're working with 1st Alliance to make sure our tenants are ready and prepared for the changes and you can count on us to make sure you get the best possible support."
For more information, contact the Council's Customer Service Centres at Ayr, Girvan Maybole Prestwick or Troon, or call us on 0300 123 0900.
Alternatively, you can drop in to: 1st Alliance Credit Union at 147 Main Street, Kilwinning, KA13 6EQ, tel: 01294 557123 or visit www.allianceayrshire.co.uk