British Credit Union Historical Society
Promoting Unity-Preserving the Past-Educating the Present-Enriching the Future
My Community Bank Wales
Is a trading name of Lasa Credit Union (Loans and Savings Abertawe) Clase community school wanted to introduce a saving scheme for pupils to help in numerical skills and the importance of saving. Some of the pupils are trained as junior bankers and
awarded a certificate in junior banking. My community bank has grown out of a credit union called Brent Shrine Credit Union, which was first formed in 1979 to serve people living or working in the London Borough of Brent. Now an online Credit Union serving communities across
the UK. My Community Bank is one of the three credit unions which form the My Community Bank network covering England, Scotland and Wales. In 2013 the common bond was extended to include members and supporters of the “British” South Asian Community
across the UK. My Community Bank is as British as curry. Open nationwide to all who are members of associations concerned with the culture, cuisine, finance or welfare of the South Asian community in the UK. 2017/8 the common bond has been extended further
to cover anyone who is a member of Financial Education and Awareness. FEA is a new charity who aim to help people educate themselves in how to be financially responsible, independent and improve their financial well-being. The charity focuses on self-help
and learning to improve people’s financial well-being. membership of FEA is free and is open to the general public
Brecon & District Credit Union Ltd
Was operating from 1995 operating in a largely rural area of Wales the credit union has its local communities at the heart of all of its operations and they are proud of what they have achieved for their communities over the past twenty
years. Celebrating 20 years of providing financial services to local communities in South Powys Brecon & District Credit Union celebrated its 20th Birthday at the end of July 2015. Founding members Pamela Manning and Christine Lewis joined in with the
celebrations. Assembly Member Kirsty Williams cut the cake and wished the credit union well for the next 20 years.
Bag Credit Union Ltd
BAG Credit Union was registered in April 1992. For over 20 years’ people in the Greater Bargoed area have achieved a better way of life through participation in their credit union. This opportunity is open to everyone who lives or works in the
Upper Rhymney from Ystrad Mynach in the south to Rhymney in the north. The Credit Union has grown steadily over the ensuing years within the Common Bond. BAG Credit Union formerly known as Bargoed, Aberbargoed and Gilfach Credit Union will be celebrating 25
years of business in 2017. BAG Credit Union is a very traditional “old model” credit union that covers a small number of Valleys communities in the Rhymney Valley in the county borough of Caerphilly in Wales. The credit Union’s intensions
are to hold various events throughout June which was the first month of collecting back in 1992. BAG Credit Union currently has over 2000 adult members, 410 junior members. Adult shares are close to £2m and loans to members stand at around £1.3m.
Haven Credit Union Ltd
Haven Credit Union began life as Pembroke Borough Credit Union in 1993, as a service for the areas of Pembroke, Monkton and Pembroke Dock. In 2002 Pembroke Borough Credit Union amalgamated with the newly formed Credit Union encompassing the
extra towns of Milford Haven, Neyland, Haverford west and the surrounding areas. Since then, Haven Credit Union, as we are now known, has grown from strength to strength, working closely with local employers, housing associations and community groups.
Our 'common bond' - the area in which we operate - now covers the whole of Pembrokeshire. On 13 March 2015, Haven Credit Union Limited was placed into Administration and has now ceased trading.
Neath Port Talbot Credit Union Ltd
Neath Port Talbot Credit Union opened on April 1st 2005 at Grandfield House, Croft Road, Neath. A few years later, thanks to the help and support of Coastal Housing Association we moved into a brand new office at Windsor Road,
Neath. On the 28th September 2008 we merged with Afan Savers Credit Union and our growth since has been spectacular. Like other credit unions, NPTCU was set up to share and assist others. Since we were established in 2005, we have built up a
successful and experienced organisation backed by a well-organised administration framework. The 23rd September 2015; saw the celebration the 10th Anniversary of Neath Port Talbot Credit Union (NPTCU), the fastest growing credit union in Wales. The birthday
celebrations were combined with the official opening of the credit union’s new Business Centre, which now houses key back office staff members, in close proximity to the existing Neath office. NPTCU has experienced unprecedented growth over the last
ten years and it will soon achieve the milestone of 10,000 members. The credit union now has three high street branches; over 20 Community Collection Points and the largest School Savings Scheme in the UK with over 40 schools taking part. In the last financial
year NPTCU delivered just fewer than one million transactions totalling over £21million with 1,356 new accounts being opened. NPTCU currently has over twenty Payroll Savings Schemes generating over £700,000 in savings per annum. They can also boast
the only fully operational Credit Union Mobile Office in the UK. At the 10th Anniversary Celebration NPTCU also announced that with effect from 1st October 2015 staff will receive the National Living Wage, some six months in advance of the Government’s
deadline of April 2016.
Neath Port Talbot Credit Union changes its name and spreads its wings To reflect its expanding footprint in delivering financial services in south Wales, Neath Port Talbot Credit Union has recently expanded
its common bond and changed its name to Celtic Credit Union. It is about to open its fourth High Street branch in the city of Swansea under the banner of Swansea Bay Credit Union. Membership of Celtic Credit Union currently stands at just under 10,000. Celtic
Credit Union has recently achieved its self-sustaining status and has grown over the past six years to a level where it is having a substantial influence in the local community with 4 High Street branches, 1 Business Centre to support the entire credit union
operation, 28 payroll deduction schemes, 35 community agencies and 44 school savings schemes. Celtic Credit Union answers 70,000 telephone calls each year and processes over 1 million transactions with a value of over £40m. Celtic Credit Union has also
just opened a new website to improve and expand the credit union's online facilities:
Gateway Credit Union Ltd
On the 19th November 1996 the Register of Friendly Societies formally registered the Pontypool and District Credit Union Ltd. We opened quietly on February 7th 1997. The Benefice Council took it upon itself
to form a working party that would look into the implications of a Credit Union, to find the level of interest that might already be in the community, to stimulate some interest and seek some kind of response. This small group took a practical approach
and immediately set about contacting as many groups as possible in the area. Fifteen people at the meeting expressed an interest and a willingness to train. We saw the formation of the Steering Group. Training was financed
by a grant awarded by the County Council. As we have grown we have made a deliberate effort to market the Credit Union in certain places.
On the 7th August 2008, at the invitation
of North Abergavenny Communities First, we expanded our common bond to include Monmouthshire and became Gateway Credit Union Limited. We currently have a presence in most towns in our area, served from the Head Office at 21 Commercial Street,
Pontypool, which we now own.
Islwyn Community Credit Union Ltd
It was at the start of November 1998 that the Register of Friendly Societies formally registered the North Islwyn Credit Union. Following on from this our first collection point was held in the Wesley Centre on Saturday November 7th.
The formal registration came as a result of, near on, two years of training by the Steering Group. The support given to us The Wesley Centre in Blackwood was vital. Not only did they provide us with our first collection point but also an office
to operate from.
BAGS Credit Union also gave us practical day to day advice. These good working relationships, built up in those early days, still continue today even in our schools.
Early in 2003 we expanded our common bond to include all
parts of the Islwyn constituency and changed our name to become Islwyn Community Credit Union Limited (ICCU), and opened the Risca collection point.
LASA Swansea's Credit Union lTD
Loans and Savings Abertawe (LASA) Credit Union Ltd was originally founded as ‘The Hill Community Credit Union’ in 1992. The Credit Union’s common bond covered the Townhill area of Swansea, and through the dedicated work of volunteers
(some of which are still part of the Credit Union today) it provided loans and savings accounts to the people of Townhill.
In 2002 the Credit Union expanded to cover all of Swansea, and became LASA (pronounced laser) Loans and Savings
Abertawe. The Credit Union was located in Cradock Street, Swansea until we moved offices in 2008 to Calvert Terrace. Although the Calvert Terrace office was in no way perfect, it was necessary to move to the premises as a cost-cutting measure, and prolong
the future of the Credit Union.
With the Credit Union in a positive position, in early February 2012, we moved premises to where we are currently located; 139 Walter Road. Our current premises are very much improved from the Calvert Terrace office.
Over the years we have been able to employ people to operate the day to day running of the Credit Union, however our Board of Directors remains volunteer led, and we still rely on volunteers in the office and in the community to help run the Credit Union.
As of March 2013 we have four paid employees and over thirty volunteers.
In April 2014 we are launching online account access for members who can check their balances at their convenience, request a withdrawal from their savings, or apply for a loan
through the ‘Members Area’ of the website.
We are also looking to offer Cash ISAs for the 2015/16 financial year.
In February 2016 the members agreed to change its name to "My Community Bank Wales"
A schools project
FAIRshare Credit Union continued
In 2012, FAIRshare members voted to extend the common bond to include everyone who lives or works in Shropshire, and a second FAIRshare branch was opened in Castle Gates, Shrewsbury. The introduction of online loan applications in 2014 has enabled people
across Shropshire to apply for FAIRshare loans from the comfort of their home, and membership continues to grow.
2015 was a record year for FAIRshare, with loans issued in the 12 months to 30 September 2015 exceeding £1 million for the first time,
and members’ savings totalling over £2.5 million. FAIRshare Credit Union has also celebrated 21 years of service to communities across Shropshire. The milestone was marked with an Open Afternoon, where the credit union’s directors & staff
welcomed former volunteers, staff, Telford & Wrekin councillors, and representatives from partner organisations, companies and communities to their Telford branch in Southwater Square to view displays and memorabilia from the past 21 years.
invited to the event were 51 ‘original members’ who joined on the opening day in 1994 and are still active members of FAIRshare 21 years on.
Everyone who lives or works in Shropshire can become a member of FAIRshare.
All Flintshire Credit Union Ltd
Holywell and District Credit Union Limited was registered in December 1997 Mrs Freda Hynes thought of the idea of forming a credit union after seeing how successful they could be while spending time in Canada in the 1960s. Mrs Hynes took an active role
in the running of the Union and served in many roles, including vice chair, acting secretary and publicity officer. Freda was after many years of service was presented with a retirement gift by her colleagues. Mr. Tecwyn Jones also a founder of the credit
union says it all began in 1992 in Holywell with two members, with only £25 available to lenders and the branches in Mold and Deeside followed soon after. Three joined together in 2001 to form the All Flintshire Credit Union, with a membership of 1,800.
It was quite a lengthy process to have the group recognised. The website introduced in 2013 offered simple navigation for local people to find out details of the services offered by the credit union. The Bryn Gwalia Communities First, in conjunction
with the All Flintshire Credit Union, unveiled the new junior credit union at Bryn Gwalia Primary School in 2013. The school was delighted to be involved with the scheme and has encouraged all the children to participate. Members celebrated the Credit
Union reaching a record landmark in the group’s 18-year history. Credit Unions across Wales in 2018 will receive over £844,000 of funding over two years for projects supporting communities who are struggling financially.
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