Credit Unions in this country had a very slow start. The first Credit Unions were established
in Wimbledon and Horsey in 1964 by West
Indian immigrants who brought the idea from their homeland. Similarly Irish immigrants to Scotland started a number of Credit Unions at the same time.
Credit Unions gained momentum in 1979 when the Credit Union Act was passed.
Since then the
Credit Union philosophy of self-help has proved very popular. In the UK over 977,072 members have recognized the value of credit unions, and have savings approaching £110,728,000 with their credit unions. There are thousands
employed in the sector and many more thousands are volunteers involved in the movement.
In 2016 a report from Co-operatives UK recognises the significant role the credit union movement
has played in the growth of the wider co-operative sector. British credit union membership has doubled over the last decade to more than 1.2 million, while the sector’s assets have trebled to more than £1.3 billion.