17 May 2022
ATISN 16270 – Welsh Government financial support for Credit Unions of Wales
Thank you for your request which I received on 20 April 2022 about the financial support given to Credit Unions of Wales. The information you requested is below.
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ATISN – 16270 – Freedom of Information Request
Following the Freedom of Information Request dated 20 April 2022 please find below a response to the questions:
- How much funding has been awarded by Welsh Government to Credit Unions of Wales for 2022-3. Was the funding paid to the Credit Unions of Wales or to a third party, if so who received the funding?
I can confirm that no grant funding has been awarded by Welsh Government directly to Credit Unions of Wales for 2022/23.
Welsh Government funding is instead provided to individual credit unions to benefit either that credit union or the wider movement if they choose to work with other credit unions to pool resources and share experience. Therefore the funding for 2022/23 has either been awarded in the form of individual project funding, or as collaborative project funding.
Collaborative funding is provided by Welsh Government for the Credit Unions of Wales Policy Officer role, who works with and on behalf of those credit unions that are affiliated to Credit Unions of Wales. The post holder takes forward agreed priorities within the Credit Unions of Wales strategy. This funding is provided to Cardiff and Vale Credit Union who manage this post.
In addition to the £500k annual revenue funding provided to credit unions across Wales, a further £20,000 has been set aside for 2022/23 for a digital marketing campaign later this year intended to boost affordable lending through promotion of the Credit Unions of Wales website.
No decisions have been taken on how this funding will be managed. Whilst it will focus on the promotion of the Credit Unions of Wales website, this will not be restricted to marketing only those credit unions that are affiliated to Credit Unions of Wales. The loans page on the website has details for all of the Welsh credit unions and so will promote and benefit all, automatically routing loan enquiries through to the applicant’s local credit union.
- Details of any subcontracted businesses involved in the delivery?
No subcontracted business are involved with the delivery of the Credit Unions of Wales Policy Officer role. In relation to the digital marketing campaign which has been funded by Welsh Government, decisions have not been finalised on the campaign for 2022/23, however it is anticipated that the second campaign will mirror the campaign which ran from December 2021 to March 2022 so that the benefits of learning and foundation work already established can be utilised. A digital agent was procured via an open procurement process in 2021/22 to run the first intensive campaign during last winter, overseen by Bridgend Lifesavers Credit Union and the marketing subgroup established for that purpose. The successful digital agency was Ceri Williams Digital Ltd.
- What the funding is intended to achieve for 2022-23.
The funding for the Credit Unions of Wales Policy Officer will continue to drive forward the agreed priorities identified within the Credit Unions of Wales strategy.
The digital marketing campaign is intended to raise awareness of the affordable lending provided by credit unions in Wales, whether affiliated to Credit Unions of Wales, or not.
- If services were secured by an open procurement process?
There has been no requirement to procure services in relation to funding awarded for 2022/23 by Welsh Government, other than the digital marketing campaign which will run later this year. I can confirm that the digital agent appointed in December 2021 was contracted via an open procurement process late last year. This would be the requirement where any services are to be developed.
- If any evaluations of the performance of the Credit Union of Wales grant funding have been undertaken since 2014, also considering value for money?
The funding provided for the Credit Unions of Wales Policy Officer post is the only Credit Unions of Wales grant funding given by Welsh Government. This funding is treated in the same way as all other grants provided to credit unions by the Financial Inclusion Unit within Welsh Government. They are routinely monitored for performance against the agreed targets. Welsh Government officials also attend monitoring meetings regularly with Cardiff and Vale Credit Union as the lead Credit Union for this funding and the Policy Officer.