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MANCHESTER, U.K. – Mark Lyonette has been appointed the new CEO of the Association of British Credit Unions, Ltd. (ABCUL) by an interview panel comprised of representatives of the association’s board of directors. He replaces outgoing CEO Shaun Spiers who resigned to become CEO of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. Lynette, who is an ABCUL insider, joined in 1997. Since 2000, he has served as operations manager. He assumed his new responsibilities on July 1. When Lyonette came to ABCUL he brought with him 15 years experience with national membership organizations. At ABCUL he has been active in trying to see how credit unions can expand their member services. In this role he has worked closely with banks and technology providers. The United Kingdom’s credit unions in 2002 were given a green light by the then newly created Financial Services Administration to expand membership and services. Prior to that both the number of members and amounts of savings and loans by those members were limited. Lyonette saw those changes and the effects they had in posing British credit unions on the starting line of a major new race. Despite legislation now being in place for growth, Lyonette sees a lot of work left to do to increase credit union penetration. “There are many people who would benefit from credit union services who are at the moment unable to access them, and the Association has a lot more work to do to ensure that credit union services are accessible and attractive to larger numbers of people.” Credit unions in the United Kingdom are still seen as poor peoples’ banks, he added. To meet the needs of increasing the membership in British credit unions, Lyonette promised that “ABCUL will continue to develop the tools that the movement needs to enable it to offer professional, accessible financial services and maintain its social and ethical ethos. We will work with regional and national governments to secure support for credit unions at all levels, and continue to press for a fair and proportionate regulatory regime for the movement.” -

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