All employers should offer payroll deduction schemes to allow employees to pay into credit unions, according to a report for the Scottish Government, published today.

Scotland’s Credit Unions: Investing in Our Future, by the Credit Union Working Group, calls for employers to work with ministers and credit union representatives to encourage more people to save and borrow responsibly via credit union accounts, through payroll deduction schemes which enable workers to automatically transfer money each month.

It also highlights the need to improve financial education for young people, including partnering with schools to promote junior saver schemes run by credit unions, and teaching aspects of numeracy in a real life context.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has written to employers across Scotland urging them to sign up to credit union payroll deduction schemes, such as that operated by Lothian Buses, whose scheme has been taken up by 36% of its employees.

Business Minister Fergus Ewing, who chaired the working group, commented: “Credit union membership enables people at every income level access to financial services at more affordable levels than many of the high street banks.

“Payroll deduction schemes can help employees to participate in long-term saving, and I would urge those businesses not already associated with a credit union to consider this free employee benefit. It not only helps their employees, but also helps Scottish families to take control of their finances.”

He added: “We want to see the credit union sector continue to grow and thrive, and by implementing the recommendations in this report, it is hoped that Scotland will prove to be an enabling environment for credit unions.”