A new partnership made up of local savings and loans providers is calling on businesses to see how they can benefit from a free payroll deduction scheme for their workers.
SoundPound, a partnership of Greater Manchester credit unions, launched in October to support employers with a free HR service that helps employees save and borrow directly through their pay – an idea supported by Greater Manchester Mayor – Andy Burnham.
The partnership held the first Greater Manchester Credit Union Awareness Week (October 16-20) that had a Halloween theme this week – ‘Don’t Get Spooked By Rip-off Lenders – GET LOCAL’ to show businesses and workers the benefits of signing up to the payroll deduction scheme.
Manchester Credit Union, one of the members of the new partnership, sees 500 people a month turning to them to break free from financial worries.
CEO Christine Moore said her organisation wanted to stand together with the other Greater Manchester credit unions to show hundreds of other businesses and workers how they could benefit from joining the scheme – instead of turning to expensive lenders.
She said: “Together, the SoundPound partnership supports thousands of workers across Greater Manchester to free themselves of financial worries by saving and borrowing through their pay.
“But we know hundreds more employers are unaware that they can offer staff this free benefit of payroll deductions. We manage the process on the business’s behalf, and it really can make for a happier workforce by easing the money worries of staff.
“We want employers and HR departments to get in touch with us to see how much they could help their workers save on a loan, compared to national lenders, with a local and ethical lender.
“We don’t want people to get ripped-off by lenders – whether that be pay day loans, doorstep lenders, expensive credit cards or national lenders, we want them to get local.”
Signs Express Manchester, based at Stretford Motorway Estate, has just signed up as a payroll partner with Manchester Credit Union – and in the first week half of its staff team have become members.
Linda Parsons, general manager of Signs Express Manchester, said: “We are always looking for new staff benefits and incentives. We know some members of the team struggle to save money – so it has been great for them to set whatever amount they want to save – and it goes directly out of their pay.
“Some of them are newly married, wanting to buy a new home, getting ready for Christmas, so having an easy savings plan is great. They were also pleased to know they will get a small dividend each year, as well as having the option to take out a loan if they need it, and are safe in the knowledge that they won’t get ripped off.
“We are true believers in working with local organisations and supporting the local economy. We are committed to Manchester.”
For more information on how to access this service, find your local credit union by visiting www.soundpound.co.uk
PHOTO: From left to right: Adam Birbeck, a sales account manager, Jordan Gribben, product operative, Linda Parsons, general manager, Chris Jerome, a sales account manager and director Lee Eaton.
"It's been great for the team to set whatever amount they want to save, as well as being safe in the knowledge that if they want to take out a loan, they won't get ripped-off."
Linda Parsons, Signs Express Manchester
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