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New panel called for at credit union

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

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MEMBERS of a struggling credit union are hoping to take over and revive its fortunes.

Cornish Community Banking (CCB), which has offices in Penzance and Newlyn, has had a tumultuous few months after a failed plan to merge the service with another group, Kernow Credit Union.

Some members are said to have lost confidence in the current directors and are now calling for new blood to be co-opted in and the current panel to resign.

"We do not think the board is serving the credit union well," said Oliver Baines, who is hoping to be one of the co-opted five.

"The current board hasn't done anything since we voted not to merge."

There are more than 2,500 members in CCB, many of them from west Cornwall.

Credit unions offer loans, savings and current accounts to members and can provide cash support to people who may not get credit elsewhere.

"Credit unions have an incredibly important role to help people who are financially excluded, especially people without easy access to credit," said Mr Baines.

"It helps to keep doorstep lenders and pay day lenders and their high interest rates at bay."

In November, members were asked to vote whether to transfer stock, property and other assets to Kernow Credit Union. But when put to a vote, the merger was thrown out.

CCB's website said it has been running a deficit during the past 12 months – something the aspiring new board members want to address.

"We think we can turn this around almost instantaneously with an increase in income and cut down on costs," said Mr Baines.

"This will involve a dramatic reduction in staff hours that have been agreed."

A plan has already been put together, he added, and handed to the Financial Services Authority.

The Cornishman tried to contact the current board of members but received no reply.

A meeting to decide if the board co-opts new members before resigning is due to take place at Truro Town Hall, Boscawen Street, on Tuesday, January 29, from 6.30pm.

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