On 24th November, the Swoboda Centre convened credit unions, advice agencies, gambling support charities, regulators and academics from Britain and Ireland to discuss the challenge to credit unions posed by evidence of potentially harmful gambling behaviour in the financial detail supporting member loan applications. Over 50 attendees joined us and our lead researchers, Professor Sharon Collard and Katie Cross of the Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol, to address these key questions:

  • How is this issue presenting in credit unions?
  • How – or should – credit unions respond?
  • How could the Swoboda Centre / University of Bristol research help credit unions?

The responses of participants to these questions are summarised in a short report of the seminar, now available here. Professor Collard’s introductory slides are here. The researchers are very grateful for the engagement and contributions of all attendees.

The project team now moves on to the development of a handbook of best practice, which should be available in the summer of 2022. If you would like to hear more about this work, or participate in the project, contact Nick Money nick.money@swobodacentre.org.

You may also be interested in a podcast on this topic, from the Talking Credit Unions series with Chris Smith. Download the podcast here.