Working with your Credit Union
What is a credit union?
Why work with a credit union?
A credit union is a cooperative – whi...
What sort of joint work can Big Local areas do with credit unions?
Ravensthorpe and Westwood
Glennis Bentley and Rainbow S...
What good ideas are out there?
Niamh Goggin, Small Change
• Finance buddies: E.g. Greatfield Big Local and Hull and East Y...
• Heating Oil loans and buying groups: E.g. Norfolk Credit Union: http://www.norfolkcu.co.uk/
Heating Oil
Norfolk Credit U...
develop a plan to increase membership and activity over a period, so that the office becomes
viable.
Who else might you involve in this work?
• Council
• Housing Association
• CAB or Debt Advice Service
• Tenants Associatio...
Ron Impey, Big Local Chair
Further Information
Your Big Local rep
You can ask your rep about the social investment reps who are trained to provide ex...
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Niamh Goggin, Working with your Credit Union

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Slides used by Niamh Goggin, Small Change, at the Big Local spring event in Peterborough, organised as part of the Local Trust programme of networking and learning events for Big Local residents. The event took place on Thursday 22 May 2014.

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Niamh Goggin, Working with your Credit Union

  1. 1. Working with your Credit Union What is a credit union? Why work with a credit union? A credit union is a cooperative – which means that it is owned by its members. It provides financial services and aims to promote thrift, provide financial services at competitive rates and help educate its members in financial matters. People who open accounts with their credit union are members and owners, who elect the Board of Directors. They are “not-for-profit” organisations. Based on data from the World Council, at the end of 2010 there were 52,945 credit unions in 100 countries around the world. Collectively they served 188 million members and oversaw US$1.5 trillion in assets. The countries with the highest percentage of credit union members in the economically active population were Ireland (75%), Barbados (72%), St. Lucia (67%), Belize (65%), Grenada (59%), Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica (54% each), Canada (46%), Antigua & Barbuda (45%), and the United States (44%). Credit unions were established in the UK in the 1960s. The first recorded British credit union was the Hornsey Co-Operative, established 1964 in North London by Caribbean families. The number of credit union members in Britain nearly doubled from 562,000 in 2004 to almost 1.04 million in 2012, while total assets increased from £432m to £956m. However, the number of active credit unions in Britain fell from 565 in 2004 to 390 in 2012. Some merged with rivals but others ceased trading, at least fourteen of them between January 2012 and July 2013.
  2. 2. What sort of joint work can Big Local areas do with credit unions? Ravensthorpe and Westwood Glennis Bentley and Rainbow Savers Anglia • Junior Savers Clubs with local schools • Collection Point Do you think that Junior Savers Clubs are a good idea? Why? What sort of financial and volunteer support would be needed to get it to work? Would your local credit union be interested? Why might your credit union not want to work with you on a Junior Savers Club? What could you do to deal with their concerns? Is your local credit union strong enough to work with you? Whitley Big Local Maureen McSevney, Chair What do you do when you have all the good ideas and struggle to find an organisation to work with?
  3. 3. What good ideas are out there? Niamh Goggin, Small Change • Finance buddies: E.g. Greatfield Big Local and Hull and East Yorkshire CU The Credit Union has agreed to recruit, train and support a network of Community Finance Buddies, to provide advice and guidance on savings, credit union membership and financial inclusion activities. This is one activity among a package agreed between the Big Local area and credit union, in return for a grant over three years. • Christmas Savers Clubs: Example: Leeds Credit Union: http://www.leedscitycreditunion.co.uk/ Start Saving Now for an Enjoyable Christmas Save as much or as little as you want between January and the end of October On 1st November the money will be transferred to your Membership Account Any dividend paid is gross of tax before transfer Target Dividend Rate: 1%* • The Cooperative White Goods Scheme: E.g. First Choice CU http://www.firstchoicecu.co.uk/ Available Now! Co-op Electricals In partnership with Co-op Electricals we now offer our members the chance to purchase a variety of electrical goods including white goods, media equipment and mobile phones from the co-op electrical website. You can purchase the goods by either ordering them yourself via the web link on here or you can call into the credit union office where we can order them for you and you can pay by debit or credit card, in cash over the counter, or by means of a share withdrawal from your credit union account.
  4. 4. • Heating Oil loans and buying groups: E.g. Norfolk Credit Union: http://www.norfolkcu.co.uk/ Heating Oil Norfolk Credit Union is working in Partnership with Norfolk County Council to promote a Heating Oil campaign. As we all know winter is approaching so be prepared and buy your oil now by applying for a Heating Oil loan with us today. We can help to spread the cost by being able to offer you an affordable repayment plan. We could also get you a competitive price on your heating oil as we work closely with a local reputable supplier, and we arrange the delivery so you don't have to. We pay the supplier direct. Our Maximum interest rate is just 2% a month (26.8%APR) Oil is cheaper in the warmer months so plan ahead and don't feel left out in the cold this winter! • Home Improvement and Greener Home Environmental Loans: E.g. Central Liverpool CU: http://www.centralcu.co.uk/ Home Improvement Loan If you want to undertake expensive renovations in your home – perhaps to cater for a growing family – then a home improvement loan can help fund this work. Improving your flat or house can also make the property more attractive to potential buyers as well as increasing its value. The overriding concern when planning any permanent alterations needs to be your own family's requirements. Whatever you are planning, our low rate loans could turn your home improvement ideas into reality. Whether it’s a loft conversion, installing a new bathroom or kitchen or adding a conservatory, your Credit Union has Home Improvement Loans from £5,000 to £25,000 to suit you. • Support for mergers Some small credit unions are struggling to survive and will need to merge if they are to survive and continue providing local services. Supporting a local credit union by funding advice and support to help them get a good deal for their members could be a good use of Big Local funds. • Finding ways to help local offices become sustainable In the case of some mergers or reorganisations, the credit union does not feel that it can afford to keep local offices or collection points open. Big Local areas might be able to work with them to
  5. 5. develop a plan to increase membership and activity over a period, so that the office becomes viable.
  6. 6. Who else might you involve in this work? • Council • Housing Association • CAB or Debt Advice Service • Tenants Association • Schools • Sure Start Centres • Council for Voluntary Services or similar • Faith groups • Further education colleges or universities • Pre-schools, nurseries and children's centres • Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) Funding the work If you are asking the credit union to carry out work over and above their normal activities, or if the work will cost them extra, consider giving them a grant. This type of work might include financial education work or outreach and marketing in an area where they have few members. If you are asking them to develop their normal activities of taking in savings and making loans, you might want to have Big Local open a credit union savings account (corporate deposit) on behalf of the area. This social investment should earn either a dividend or interest payment at the end of the year, earning money for the area. When you get to know the credit union better and if you want to extend the relationship, you might want to consider making a loan to the credit union or investing in deferred shares. Remember that Local Trust, Small Change and your local reps are here to advise and support you through that process. Reaching agreement with a credit union NW Ipswich Ron Impey, Big Local Chair • Deposit account • Grant • Loan Panel Discussion / Questions and Answers Glennis Bentley and Rainbow Savers Anglia Maureen McSevney, Chair Niamh Goggin, Small Change
  7. 7. Ron Impey, Big Local Chair
  8. 8. Further Information Your Big Local rep You can ask your rep about the social investment reps who are trained to provide extra support on social investment for your area. Some of them may already have run events in your area or invited you to workshops run between a number of areas. Social investment on the Local Trust website: http://www.localtrust.org.uk/big-local/social- investment-podcasts/ Niamh Goggin, Small Change niamh@small-change-ltd.org.uk or 02895 810803 Rachel Rowney, Local Trust rachel.rowney@localtrust.org.uk or 0203 588 0569 We could find out more information from: Transact is the national forum for financial inclusion. The Transact online library has lots of information, including short reports on levels of financial exclusion and access to affordable credit in every local authority area in Britain. You can find them here http://tinyurl.com/experianreports or phone Transact and ask for their help to find your report. Phone: 020 7392 2961 Email: transact@toynbeehall.org.uk Website: www.transact.org.uk ABCUL is the membership organisation for most English credit unions. It provides support, information and services. You can find your local credit union on their website. http://www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk/home Phone: 0161 832 3694 | Email: info@abcul.org | Website: http://www.abcul.org/home The Personal Finance Research Centre, University of Bristol can help you find out more about problems with access to savings and lending services, managing money and financial exclusion. Phone: 0117 9289954 | Email: david.collings@bristol.ac.uk | Website: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/geography/research/pfrc/about/

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