Duchess in visit to credit union

The Duchess of Cornwall could be given tips on how to save £20 a week when she joins a credit union.

Camilla, who already has financial advisers, is applying to join the London Mutual Credit Union in Peckham where she will have access to its financial services which aim to teach members how to save around £20 to £40 each week.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
She will also be eligible for payday loans normally used by people in "crisis" situations which have 28.6%APR interest rates, compared with other lenders who can charge up to 4000% APR.

On her first visit to the Peckham branch, she praised its services and said: "I think everybody needs that bit of help to show them how it's done. That personal touch just makes a difference."

The non-profit organisation is one of London's largest and provides services to anyone who live or works in the Southwark, Lambeth, Westminster and Camden boroughs. It runs by lending out its members' savings and encourages customers to take control of their money and only borrow amounts they can afford to repay.

LMCU will be the first credit union Camilla has joined, although she has visited five others in the past three years, and is eligible as a Borough of Westminster resident. She said: "It's very important to get the word out and tell people about it. It is just raising awareness. Probably like many other people I didn't know much about it."

During her visit the Duchess spoke to a number of LMCU members who have been helped by the scheme.

Wendy Powell, 67, was at the branch with her daughter Clare, 32, who is already a member. She said: "I told Camilla I was just here with my daughter but that I was thinking of joining and she said she would as well. I said she should get behind me in the queue."

Louis McLeod, treasurer of LMCU, said: "When you join you're given a share account and encouraged to save on a regular basis. You also have access to various perks that are invaluable in a credit union current account. You also have access to the Isa account. The Duchess would save dividends like any other member on her regular share account and if she did make an Isa account she would get 3% interest. She would be able to take advantage of both the traditional share account and also the Isa account and the current account."

Lucky Chandrasekera, chief executive of LMCU, said the credit union is trying to attract more affluent members. He said: "If everyone is unemployed and can't save money you don't have money to give, so you need affluent people as well. We are now introducing a cash Isa and working on introducing mortgages and we have just finished testing the iPhone app so it's for the younger generation, so we are working on that." LMCU became the first British credit union to offer a payday loan last year and now has more than 16,000 members.

5 PHOTOS
World's richest women
See Gallery
Duchess in visit to credit union

Christy Walton, 56, is the widow of John T Walton, one of the sons of Walmart founder Sam Walton.

She inherited John's fortune of $15.7 million when he died in June 2005 and now has an estimated net worth of about $25 billion, making her the tenth richest person in the world.

Liliane Bettencourt, 88, is France's richest woman with an estimated fortune of $23.5 billion.

Her wealth is due to being heir to the French cosmetics giant L'Oreal, which was founded by her father.

While Christy Walton's wealth is thanks to her marriage to John T Walton, Alice, 61, inherited her fortune directly from her father, Sam.

He founded Walmart, which now employs some 2.1 million people, in 1962 with his brother James. Alice's personal wealth is estimated at $20.9 billion.

When billionaire Andronico Luksic died of cancer in 2005, his second wife Iris became head of the family that controls Antofagasta, one of the world's largest copper miners.

Her fortune is thought to be worth about $19.2 billion.

Susanne Klatten, 48, is the daughter of Herbert Quandt, the man who rescued BMW from bankruptcy in the 1960s.

She also owns chemical manufacturer Altana, which she delisted from the stock market after inheriting 50% and increasing her stake to 100%. Her wealth is estimated at $14.6 billion.

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS