December 19, 2023

More than 60 fishing businesses receive loans and financial support from Commsave Credit Union

A revolutionary new partnership and initiative from The Seafarers’ Charity and Commsave Credit Union has delivered affordable financial services to more than 60 fishing families over the last two years.

This partnership follows on from the Fishing Without a Safety Net research (commissioned by The Seafarers’ Charity), which revealed the challenges of living on a fishing income and concluded that it was essential to create a ‘safety net’ to support the personal finance and financial resilience needs of fishing families.

Following this research, The Seafarers’ Charity approached Commsave Credit Union and, since the partnership was forged, Commsave has loaned nearly £854,000 to help 64 fishing families access financial support, including loans for match funded government grants.

'Not only are we providing loans, we are also supporting fishing families with regular saving accounts, helping them save for the future and for as yet unforeseen challenges.' - Dominic Masterson, CEO at Commsave

'Our partnership with Commsave shows how we have been tackling need at source and preventing potential problems. Working with our funded Fishing Animateur project, Commsave has helped fishers to obtain financial support to access government grants from the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS). It is also encouraging to see that all the fishers who joined Commsave are also investing in regular saving plans - this will help build future resilience for fishing families reliant on their fishing business.'

Deborah Layde
Chief Executive at The Seafarers’ Charity

Why join Commsave?

Adrian Blamey is one of the new Commsave members running a fishing business with a trawler at Mevagissey and he describes how helpful it has been to have an alternative to a high street bank providing a loan to match fund the Government grant from the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme.

Adrian said: 'I found applying to Commsave so much easier than going through my bank. My bank either didn’t know about the grant from the Government or perhaps didn’t believe it to be true. I applied for the loan to update health and safety on my fishing boat and to improve fish storage and I would 100% recommend to anyone in the fishing industry to become a Commsave member and apply for a Commsave loan.'

Commsave Credit Union pays a competitive annual dividend on members’ savings which has exceeded bank rates in recent years. They also provide a free Bereavement Fund for all members. On death (from any cause) this fund writes off any outstanding debt to the Credit Union.

In addition, the Bereavement Fund can make a payment to a nominated beneficiary ranging from £500 to £5,000 (subject to individual savings limits). For those who do not have life assurance, this will provide a welcome and free benefit with an expediated payment at the time it is most needed, as the payment is not subject to probate.

Make financial plans for 2024

The next round of the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme is expected to open for funding applications in 2024 and the Fishing Animateurs and Commsave stand ready to help fishers access much needed Government support.