AN ETHICAL and community owned credit company has opened a Cirencester office which will rival high street lenders.

Gloucestershire Credit Union will offer savings accounts and loans to residents and small businesses.

The union are aiming to target people within Cirencester and the Cotswolds to avoid the high street interest credit lenders.

This new service is opening just as the Financial Inclusion Centre publishes a report showing that credit unions have a higher customer satisfaction rating than for mainstream banks and as famous actor, Michael Sheen, launches his own campaign against high interest credit lenders.

The union was set up in 2011 and has over 650 members.

Located in the Churn Neighbourhood Project at 12-14 Waterloo, Cirencester, people can visit where they can talk to someone in person about how the union can help them.

This information point will open every first and third Friday of the month, 11am – 1pm.

Barbara Morrison, a Cirencester resident, has led the setting up of this new information service as a volunteer.

She said: “I’m a member of Gloucestershire Credit Union and think the work it does is great.

"I really value having an ethical and affordable place to borrow from as well as a safe place to save.

"It helps me to plan for future expenses like Christmas and take better control of my finances.

"I can save a little or a lot, it’s up to me and I know I’ll be treated fairly and as a human being."