Councillor Rodwell launching BD Money

Affordable loan options as east London council partners with Credit Union amidst cost-of-living crisis

People who live and work in Barking and Dagenham will now be able to access straightforward hassle-free savings accounts and affordable loans thanks to a collaboration between the Council and Leeds Credit Union (LCU) – Barking and Dagenham Money (BD Money). 

Through working with LCU, the Council aims to help residents become more financially secure, keep more money in their pockets and access appropriate services to meet their financial needs and ambitions. 

A Council commissioned report from 2020 showed that at least 6,000 households in the borough were borrowing over 20,000 subprime loans, totalling over £9.4 million every year, and paying back £7.3 million in extortionate interest and fees. The situation will have only worsened since then, with the current cost of living crisis.  

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council and Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Leadership, said: “Times are really tough right now and we’re doing all we can to support residents. The launch of BD Money couldn’t have come at a better time and brings a more affordable options for our residents when it comes to borrowing.  

“Now more than ever as many people up and down the country face the cost-of-living crisis and we want to ensure every option is available in terms of the support residents can access – including exploring safe borrowing options instead of high-cost lenders.

“We look forward to working with Leeds Credit Union to provide a trusted service to our residents when it comes to savings accounts, loans and much more.”  

Operating for over 35 years, LCU is one of the country’s largest credit unions. As a not-for-profit mutual, owned and run by its members, it offers an ethical alternative to mainstream banks and a better choice than high interest lenders. It is particularly helpful to those who may be unable to access traditional banking facilities or borrowing from places such as payday and doorstep lenders. LCU carried out a survey earlier this year that revealed 49% of respondents said they saw their financial situation worsening. However, 96% of its members said they would 'definitely recommend' the Credit Union to help alleviate these stresses. 

Paul Kaye, CEO of Leeds Credit Union, said: “Leeds Credit Union is excited to be working with Barking and Dagenham Council on this initiative to offer our great range of savings and loans to support the residents of the borough. We already offer our services to over 35,000 members, helping them access savings accounts to assist with budgeting plus a variety of loans. This could be anything from a small, short-term need of £500 to larger long-term requirements of up to £25,000 for anything from a car repair through to Debt Consolidation and Family Loans. As a mutual organisation we offer fair and ethical products for the benefit of all our members.” 

Through the partnership, BD Money will offer a variety of savings accounts, including Regular Saver, Christmas Club, Young Saver and Membership Accounts, as well as access to various responsible and affordable loan facilities. LCU prides itself on providing members with the most appropriate services based on their own individual circumstances. 


For more information on BD Money affordable loan and savings products, plus a range of money support tools and guidance visit