In a short film to mark the launch of #TOYOURCREDIT, Archbishop Justin Welby speaks about the Church’s role in creating a fairer banking system to ensure that everyone has access to essential financial services:
All of us from time to time need access to some financial flexibility but in recent years it’s been quite hard to get that at a reasonable cost. The #TOYOURCREDIT initiative is seeking over time to make good finance, both to save and on occasion to borrow, available to everyone at a reasonable cost.
It’s to get away from people who seek to take advantage of other peoples needs and are not, for that matter, interested in those who are trying to put away a bit each month in order to be able to meet needs when they come unexpectedly.
#TOYOURCREDIT wants to bring in all the resources of the Church, and Christian organisations like Christians Against Poverty, so that we can handle our money better. So that it’s not a pressure or a worry, doesn’t keeps us awake at night, and so that we’re able to deal with finance as we should; as a servant, not as a really cruel master.
The launch of #TOYOURCREDIT comes just over a year after the Archbishop’s speech in the House of Lords about the growth of the payday loan industry and the vital role for churches and other local organisations in helping to develop accessible and affordable alternatives:
“The church is in a unique position up and down the country. For the credit union movement to be successful and sustainable, and other forms of local finance to develop, we need a bottom-up movement of local organisations working to change the sources of supply. It will take many years — 10 to 15 years — but it must start now."
In June this year, at a reception to mark 50 years of the credit union movement in the UK, he re-iterated his long term vision for a transformed financial sector:
“We are beginning to see real change. But we need to be realistic that what we’re trying to do is not a quick flash in the pan, but an effort to build a whole new financial sector that for many years has not been in existence in this country, excluding some of the poorest in our society from the basic necessity of effective financial services. If people don’t have that, there’s lots of other things they can’t do about job creation and work and training and all kinds of other things.”