Following the Archbishop of Canterbury's speech on payday lending in the House of Lords, dubbed 'The War on Wonga' by the UK press, we worked with the Rt Hon Justin Welby's newly created 'Task Group on Responsible Credit and Savings', taking the initial plans of the Task Group to create a positive, national behaviour change campaign to boost the growth and use of credit unions in the UK.



Following the extensive 'War on Wonga' press coverage generated by the Archbishop of Canterbury's June 2013 House of Lords speech on payday lending and viable alternatives to lenders, his office, with the Church of England and in partnership with the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL), sought to build on the momentum generated and subsequent public awareness. A Task Group was created to mobilise and equip both the local communities of the Church of England and the wider general public to engage with the issue, raise awareness, support the credit union industry and apply public pressure to the practices of payday lending organisations.

We built upon the aims of the Task Group and created a national behaviour change campaign to mobilise both churches and the general public to engage with the issue. Following extensive research and data gathering exercises on the financial industry, debt culture, payday loans and credit unions, including users and subject matter experts, we developed a national strategy for awareness and behaviour change. Initially this provided the Task Group with 2 - 3 strategic options from which they could decide upon an approach. Identifying key partners and collaborators we brokered associate and partnership relationships for the Task Group extending the potential reach and expertise for the campaign.

Subsequently, we developed and presented narrative and branding options for the national campaign, leading to the adoption of #toyourcredit as a parent brand for all of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Church of England's work relating to money management and debt. Alongside creating the initial campaign comms and copywriting, we also created design briefs for logos and other assets, which would complement the existing brand of the Church of England and provide flexibility with regard to the growing scope of the Task Group's work. Following client consultation, we expanded the briefs into a complete brand package with logo, assets and associated branding guidelines for the Church of England.

Providing information architecture for a new website, we developed an initial web presence using a Content Management System tailored for ease of use by internal teams and personnel within the Task Group. During development we sourced and provided art direction for official campaign photography and also presented social media strategy and guidelines for internal use and reference throughout the duration of #toyourcredit.

The subsequent and ongoing impact of the #toyourcredit campaign, both within the community of the Church of England and within wider society, has been widely received and lauded as successful, and a major contributing factor in the wider mobilisation of support for credit unions and the application of pressure on the payday loans industry.

In the year following the launch of #toyourcredit, figures release by the Bank of England showed that over one hundred thousand more people had joined credit unions unions in Great Britain, signifying a growth of 9.1%. ABCUL were recently recognised as a world leader, being honoured with a special award for "outstanding membership growth" by the World Council of Credit Unions in August 2015.