West Cornwall MP Andrew George is urging people to take advantage of credit unions instead of borrowing money from loan sharks.
Mr George, who first brought community banking to Cornwall in the 1990s, is supporting the opening of the new Penzance service of Kernow Credit Union (KCU) at The Giving Shop, Wharfside Shopping Centre, Penzance on Monday at 12 noon.
The Penzance branch will become the 16th service point across Cornwall.
Mr George hopes people in the community will support it by becoming a member and save with the credit union bank. Apart from the standard savings and loan accounts, KCU offers junior savers accounts for under 16s.
Mr George, who was instrumental in setting up the Cornwall Credit Union Development Project in 1996, said: “I was privileged to become a member of the Penwith Credit Union in July 1999 and subsequently a member of Cornwall Community Banking.
“ Credit unions are a "not for profit" company and can make a strong contribution to communities badly affected by extortionate loan sharks, expensive credit and pay day lenders.
“ I look forward to maintaining this link by becoming a member of Kernow Credit Union.’’
Jon Hayworth, secretary of Kernow Credit Union, said: "Kernow Credit Union is pleased to be opening a service point in Penzance because it was in Penzance in 1999 that the first community based credit union in Cornwall opened its doors for business.
“ We are pleased to welcome Andrew George as a member as he has been a long term credit union enthusiast. We are sure he will feel at home with the enthusiasts associated with KCU.’’