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A Bill to update outdated legislation that governs friendly societies and credit unions passed its third reading today unanimously, Kaikōura MP Stuart Smith says.

“I am proud to see the passing of this legislation which will see friendly societies and credit unions fall into line with modern practises adopted by other financial institutions,” Mr Smith says.

“Some of the most important changes include allowing credit unions to become bodies corporate, allowing them to lend and provide services to other small and medium enterprises, and streamlining the position of associations of credit unions.

“Considerable thought has gone into ensuring this Bill both modernises the existing legislation and ensures credit unions are able to conduct business more effectively and efficiently. These changes will make life much easier for friendly societies and credit unions.

“By streamlining the previously complex regulations, Parliament is handing a vote of confidence to our financial institutions to give them the best chance of success. Credit unions will still be subject to the legal and regulatory requirements under various forms of financial legislation.

“This Bill has been a collaborative effort right across the industry, and also across Parliament. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved throughout the process.”

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