A GLASGOW-based credit union has handed out more than £700,000 in loans in just one month.

The NHS Credit Union, which started life in a nurse's bedroom in the Southern General Hospital, caters for health service workers and their families across Scotland and the north of England.

In May, it gave loans totalling £737,316 - the first time in its 15-year history it has smashed through the £700,000 figure.

Total loans issued since it started out in 1998 are now approaching £47million with almost £2.5m distributed to members in the first five months of this year alone.

Based in Dava Street in Govan, the organisation has seen visits to its website soar by more than 36% to 86,763 since it was relaunched in January.

General manager Robert Kelly described the latest figures as a "phenomenal achievement".

He said: "More and more people are beginning to realise what a difference a credit union can make to their financial health.

"The growth in our loan book shows thousands of NHS staff have benefited from our services and we would hope to help many more in the years to come."

Hugh Sweeney, chairman of the credit union, is also delighted with the latest figures.

He said: "The credit union is growing from strength to strength, despite the economic challenges facing all financial institutions.

"We have come a long way and many things have changed in our 15-year- journey but the founding principles and mutual ethos remains the same."