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MANCHESTER and LONDON, U.K. – When the Child Trust Funds (CTF) payments begin April 6, Great Britain credit unions can participate, a sign of growing government support for credit unions. Parents of children born after Septemer 1, 2003 will receive up to 500 (US$950) paid directly into the special accounts. Parents can add up to 1200 (US2280) per year with no tax due on the interest. The program is to encourage savings. When the same children reach the age seven amounts up to 500 will be added by the government. “Through the Child Trust Fund and other initiatives, the Government has shown its commitment to ensuring people can build some personal assets – the lack of which is one of the factors influencing financial exclusion – and credit unions are ideally placed to help them with this commendable aim.” The Association of British Credit Union, Limited’s CEO Mark Lyonette said. A number of credit unions have signalled they will open the long-term accounts for their members’ children. Credit unions are trusted savings institutions in many communities,” said Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury. “Their new ability to offer Child Trust Fund cash accounts will add to the choice available to families. This will allow families to take advantage of Government money to provide the young people of tomorrow with a personal asset with which to start their adult lives.”

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