A new head office for London Mutual Credit Union, jointly owned by 16,000 members, will be opened on Thursday 31st January by Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Rt. Hon. Harriet Harman MP.London Mutual new premises in Peckham have been refurbished to provide an attractive and welcoming place for people to access great value financial services including a Cash ISA that pays 3% AER and an alternative payday loan product that costs a fraction of the rate of commercial providers.

The credit union CUOK loan product offers short term loans over up to 3 months at just 26,8% APR. The new service has drawn nearly 2,000 people away from high cost lenders which may charge up to 4,000 APR since its launch in February 2012. The former social services office was purchased from Southwark Council for £1 million. Its 5,000 square feet houses the credit union branch on the ground floor with office space above.

London Mutual Credit Union Chief Executive Lucky Chandrasekera said: “It is testament to the hard work of our volunteers and staff and the support of our 16,000 members that we have been able to buy our own premises. We have always been at the heart of our community and I am proud that we now have our own base in the centre of Peckham that is owned by our members. It will meet the needs of our expanding staff team as we expand access to many more people and will be a great advertisement to draw people away from the high cost lenders that plague our communities”.

Harriet Harman MP said:”With payday loan shops blighting high streets, loan sharks stalking local estates and banks refusing to lend, there has never been a greater need for the excellent services of London Mutual Credit Union. Building on the great work they have done over the years, I am delighted to be opening London Mutual Credit Union’s head office in Peckham”.

Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive of the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL) said: ” It is always great to see credit unions expanding and reaching more people. When a credit union reaches the stage when it can buy its own premises, it is really a cause for celebration. The new building is one that any organisation would be proud of, but it is extra special here because it is through thousands of local people joining together in a credit union that this has been made possible.”

Lord Roy Kennedy of Southwark, who is a Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions, will join the credit union at the opening, which will also be attended by the leaders of Southwark and Camden councils – Cllr Peter John and Cllr Sarah Hayward.