British Credit Union Historical Society

          Promoting Unity-Preserving the Past-Educating the Present-Enriching the Future


The first enduring credit unions in Scotland were founded in Drumchapel and Bellshill in the 1960's, thanks to the vision of pioneers of the Scottish movement, Bert Mullen and Bill Murphy.

Shortly before the passing of the 1979 Credit Unions Act, two sisters from Drumchapel Kathleen and Phyllis McGee, got together with a few friends and neighbours, to set up the first credit union in Renfrewshire.  Johnstone Credit Union opened its doors to members for the first time on Saturday 4th August 1979.  Membership was open to anyone who lived in Johnstone.  The local scout group gave us the use of their hall in Elm Drive, Johnstone Castle. For the first five years the fledgling credit union had no permanent home and operated from a variety of venues including a church hall and a school community wing; during this period growth was slow. The small group of volunteers persevered however and in 1984 with help from the local council JCU moved to our first permanent premises in Collier Street; by the year 2000 the credit union was in a position to purchase our very own premises in Church Street, and by 2014 with membership approaching 5000 and assets over 7.5 million we moved into our new purpose built offices.


In 1996, Tom Kelly founding member was appointed our first full-time manager, in 2003 our common bond was extended to include all residents in Renfrewshire west of Johnstone and again in 2013 extended to take in the whole of Renfrewshire.

Our achievements have not gone unnoticed; in the years from 2000 to 2014 we have been recognised by  Scottish Enterprise receiving the Millennium Award for Community Development; in 2004 we received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in the community; and in 2014 Tom Kelly was awarded a MBE for services to the credit union movement.


Write a new comment: (Click here)
Characters left: 160
DONE Sending...
See all comments

| Reply

Latest comments

18.08 | 14:55

I am very proud to be a part of the credit union and the ethos of people helping people.

Congratulations to No1 CopperPot.

14.07 | 04:57

A very inspiring and educational experience. It awaken my interest to serve the community.

01.07 | 13:06

As schools Development Worker for Unify Credit Union, I found the schools project resources very useful.... some really good ideas, Thank you x

23.11 | 16:41
Your CU Resources Has received 2
You liked this page