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Welsh Government £649,000 credit union advertising campaign led to fall in membership

The Welsh Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Social Justice, Peter Black, has questioned the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty on a Welsh Government advertising campaign costing £649,000 with the objective of increasing the membership of Credit Unions, but which saw a net decrease of 2,219 savers instead.

The stated objective of the advertising campaign was to increase membership of credit unions by 25% over and above the predicted growth rates. However, the actual membership of credit unions has fallen by 2,219 since the end of June 2014

"This is a dramatic failure on the part of the Welsh Government," said Mr. Black. "The Minister has argued that the fall in membership is due to Credit Unions closing dormant accounts, but that is a routine activity. The reality is that the Government’s poster campaign was ineffective and made no impact at all on the target market.

"This £649,000 could have been better spent targeting specific groups of working savers whose membership of a local credit union would have made those organisations more sustainable. In addition if the Minister had instead used some of this cash in a more targeted way to promote credit unions through Welsh Local Authorities, Health Boards and other large public sector employers and in creating small business loans for micro businesses then he would not have had such disappointing results.

"A huge opportunity to better promote and reinforce Credit Unions has been missed by poor decisions on the part of Welsh Government Ministers and a large sum of public money has been poured down a drain."

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