BENARTY and Lochgelly Credit Union’s assets have been rising on a steady basis over the past year, the organisation’s annual general meeting was told.

The Benarty Credit Union base in Ballingry.The Benarty Centre meeting was told that it had been another steady year for the Credit Union and the membership stood last September at 1838 with share holdings totaling £1, 304,148 and loans at £598,100.76.

The well attended gathering heard that assets had been rising on a steady basis and Christmas Club savings were £18,716, with members finding this greatly helpful on the build-up to Christmas when extra finance was required.

The meeting was told: “The Credit Union also has children’s accounts at Benarty and St Kenneth’s Primary Schools and St Patrick’s and Lochgelly High Schools

“This is important because it gets pupils into the habit of saving and getting the value of money.

“Interest is also paid on their savings.”

The meeting was also informed that 96 per cent of loans were paid back by adults, but unfortunately a small number fell into arrears.

The meeting also heard: “Anyone with difficulty in paying can have their payments changed and most of the people affected took that opportunity.

“A few did not so the Credit Union was forced to take Court action against the offenders.”

The meeting agreed that this was the only route left to take in the situation.

It was stressed that anyone defaulting affected the finance of the Credit Union and its members and all the money was the public money of the members.

Recovery of money had been good and others will still ongoing.

In the financial report the board of directors were proposing a one per cent dividend on shares and a five per cent dividend paid on interest paid on loans taken out by members.

Loan interest was the major source of the Credit Union. It was also pointed out that the most common reasons for loans being taken out were home improvements, holidays and Christmas spending.

The election of members resulted, Willie Clarke, Linda Law, Margaret King, Donna McEwan, Christopher Oakley, Paula Mackie, Stephen Nardone, Mary Nardone, Morag Swan and Sheila McShane.

Finally the board thanked their staff, Sharon Mackie and Jane Milligan, for their input and also the members for their loyalty over the years and also the volunteers for their work.