Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan wants to follow Glasgow's lead

Glasgow's lead in opening credit union accounts for pupils should be copied by Renfrewshire, says its council leader.

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The city council agreed last year that a credit union account should be opened for all 6000 pupils in S1 with the help of £10 deposit. The aim was to encourage them to save and prevent them being tempted to take out expensive payday loans.

Now Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan wants his colleagues to follow Glasgow's example.

He has asked councillors to back his plan to open a credit union account for all first-year secondary pupils in the local authority area and gift them a £10 opening balance.

Along with Glasgow, the council has already taken a hard line on high-interest loan companies, with payday lender sites being blocked from computers in libraries and other community facilities.

Payday lenders have also been banned from leasing, or operating out of council owned properties.

The council has also supported the setting up of Credit Unions as an alter­native to payday lenders.

Mr Macmillan said: "The growth in payday lending companies is a stain on our society.

"They prey on vulnerable people who struggle to live from day to day and who see these companies as a quick fix. But all these companies do is create a downward spiral of debt that leaves many families in greater poverty and desperation.

"I am sure councillors will back my plan to open a credit union account for each of the 1700 first year pupils in secondary schools across Renfrewshire with a £10 opening balance.

"We want to encourage responsible saving and responsible borrowing.

"Credit unions have shown the way and I am delighted we will be able to give them and school pupils all over Renfrewshire this boost.

"If this idea of opening an account with a £10 balance for the pupils stops them from having to use payday lenders in the future, then it is £17,000 well spent."


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