HARLINGTON, England–Plane Saver Credit Union has become the latest to sign on with a separate brand as part of a loan program aimed at military personnel, veterans and their families.
Called First Defence Finance, the brand and program are part of the Joining Forces partnership, which was established in 2015 by the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence to address concerns about rising levels of debt among armed forces personnel. First Defence Finance offers credit union services such as flexible savings and ethical loans.
Plane Saver Credit Union one of three credit unions in the U.K. that offer affordable loans to the armed forces and its veterans. Since 2015, the program has helped 3,000 serving personnel save over £1 million and borrow £9 million, according to organizers.
Along with the new brand, the credit union is launching a new website – www.firstdefencefinance.co.uk. Last year Plane Saver introduced a Payday Payoff loan to help service personnel pay off high-interest rate payday loans.
Growing Area of Membership
“As armed forces personnel are a growing area of our membership, we thought it only right to represent this group through the launch of our own military brand,” CEO Valerie Walwyn, who is also a veteran, told Co-op News.
The credit union told the publication it hopes the brand will help even more members of the armed forces increase their financial resilience while making the cost of borrowing more affordable and accessible.
“The First Defence Finance brand symbolizes our ongoing commitment to serve members of the armed forces. It is our mission to help those who are financially excluded by simplifying savings and offering ethical loans,” Walwyn told Co-op News. “The credit union won the MoneyAge Ethical Lender of the Year award in 2018. The launch of this new brand allows us to expand our range of products designed specifically for military personnel.”
As part of its commitment to the military personnel and army veterans, in December the credit union donated £5,000 to the Royal British Legion, to support of the charity’s work, the publication added.