Scottish Rural and Farming Credit Union could be introduced

A feasibility study is under way for the setting-up a credit union for farming and rural communities in Scotland by the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) working with a number of stakeholders including Glasgow chartered accountants, Alexander Sloan.

Steven Cunningham, a partner in Alexander Sloan, who specialises in the sector, said: “A number of credit unions exist in several rural communities but there is, at present, no credit union specifically designed to accommodate the needs of the rural and farming community throughout Scotland.

“In other countries, such as Canada, farming Credit Unions are a major source of finance for the farming sector, and it would appear that there is no real reason why one should not exist here.

“The city of Glasgow has more Credit Union members than any other city in the UK and its organisation is a strongly-established part of the finance and banking landscape.

“With the numbers of rural bank branches in sharp decline there could well be an increasing need for a rural credit union in our rural areas.”

A survey is currently being run to gather the views and opinions of the rural community on a new Credit Union by the website http://www.abdn.ac.uk/saos/stakeholders

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