THE success of credit unions in Yorkshire is the topic for a major conference.
Leeds MP John Battle addressed 150 volunteers from schemes on the running and growth of the initiatives.
Credit unions provide an alternative financial option to many people around the region.
There are many schemes in Huddersfield and the rest of Kirklees.
They work by members pooling savings.
This then creates the money available for loans.
The unions generally offer a low rate of interest to borrowers and greater control for members.
Sharon Thomas, of the Castle and Minster Credit Union in Huddersfield, has seen the popularity of the group increase to more than 2,000 members.
Many of them are youngsters joining as junior members.
She said credit unions were often seen as a valid source of finance for people ineligible for bank loans.
While many private companies offer loans with a high rate of interest, unions were seen as a safer option.