British Credit Union Historical Society

Renfrewshire Wide Credit Union Ltd

was established in 2006 as a merger of 3 smaller credit unions in Erskine, Renfrew and Linwood which has served the local community for over 30 years. The aim of the credit union is to encourage members to save regularly, to provide low cost loans to members, to encourage careful money management among members and to develop a sense of co-operation and community. A Website has been designed to promote the benefits of Credit Unions to the people of Renfrewshire. The fresh, easy-to-use website signposts people to credit unions throughout Renfrewshire, lists all their services and highlights the many benefits of saving and borrowing affordably. A key aim is to raise public awareness of credit unions generally and to help people enjoy the benefits of sound money management. Gleniffer Credit Union, Johnstone Credit Union, Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union, Scot west Credit Union and White Cart Credit Union have collaborated on the development of the website to ensure that the Renfrewshire community can make an informed choice on the best credit union for their needs. The website is funded by Renfrewshire Council who have committed up to £500,000 of funding to support credit union development in Renfrewshire as a key strand of their Tackling Poverty strategy. This substantial investment has been used in a variety of initiatives to tackle the rise in high cost lending and to provide access to a wider range of ethical and affordable financial products for the Renfrewshire community.


My Community Bank Scotland

Castle Community Bank trading as North Edinburgh & Castle Credit Union formed late in 2015 following the merger of two long established credit unions: Castle and North Edinburgh, along with the members of the Water of Leith Credit Union Study Group that served the communities of Craigmillar and North Edinburgh. . The study group was set up with the aim of establishing a Credit Union in Leith. Castle Community Bank has built on this proud heritage to extend its reach to people across Edinburgh and the Lothians, and now across Scotland thanks to its association with FEA UK.  We share FEA’s belief that the best way to fight financial exploitation is to educate the general population on how to effectively manage their financial affairs. Innovative online platform has seen a surge in new saving and loan applications and this, unquestionably augurs well for the future development of Castle Community Bank, unburdened by shareholder dividends, ‘fat cat’ bonuses and other significant banking costs. The common bond qualifications for membership are based on people who live or work in the ‘EH’ postcode area. Castle Community Bank has two “walk in” branches in Niddrie and Wardieburn.

East Kilbride Credit Union

East Kilbride Credit Union Ltd

have been providing first class financial services since 1982. Situated in 43 Brouster Hill, East Kilbride, Glasgow, G74 1AG

The credit union is run by members for members and over 10,000 residents have already made use of services. They also have a thriving junior membership, with almost 600 youngsters making excellent use of savings facilities.

The Home Start Deposit Scheme (HSDS) started in 2017 is a ground breaking new initiative by East Kilbride credit union that helps members save up the deposit needed to apply for a mortgage and purchase their first home. The opportunity for members only, secures funds for properties which cost a maximum £100,000. In just one year 51 first-time buyers have signed up to the scheme. members insist they would never have been able to buy their own home because they were renting and it would have taken them forever to save up.


Drumchapel Community Credit Union Ltd

Drumchapel Community Credit Union was founded in February 1970 after a meeting in saint Laurence’s Church hall. The first collection brought in £19. The credit Union was first known as Western Credit Union and was the first credit union in Scotland.  Bert Mullen was the main driving force behind setting up the Credit Union and started investigating in early 1969 writing to John Hume MP at Derry credit Union. He inspired many others throughout not only Glasgow but also the whole of Scotland to set up Credit Unions within their communities. The furthest was in Stornoway on the isle of Lewis. In 1993 they launched a scheme called Acorn. Residents who had received a lump sum could invest a minimum of £50 to a maximum of £250. Any one joining via the Acorn scheme receives a bonus in addition to the normal dividend. The biggest promotion of credit unions anywhere in the UK was taken up by Glasgow city council in the summer of 2013; each high school was allocated a credit union partner. Credit union leaders around Glasgow visit schools to explain how the 5,000 new recruits can save into their accounts and, once they are 18, take out a loan. Drum Chapel was one of those credit unions.

Drumchapel serves 2,600 members who most of them surviving on low wages or benefits have £2.9 million saved in their local credit union and are borrowing £1.4 million at more favourable rates than are available from many other lenders. Led by Trisha Butler and a staff of mostly volunteers they oversee the 2.9 million savings and the 1.4 million loans from a former Scout hut. 

Pioneer Mutual Credit Union Ltd

Established in 1993 as East Renfrewshire Credit Union, it rebranded as Pioneer Mutual in 2016 and expanded its common bond to serve anyone who lives or works in a G, PA or ML postcode – extending the credit union’s potential membership well beyond East Renfrewshire to also serve people across Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Dunbartonshire and Lanarkshire.Pioneer Mutual Credit Union have signed the Women in Finance Charter: A pledge for gender balance across financial services and pledge to retain 50% of women in senior management positions. In 2017, the credit union is to be a finalist in the East Renfrewshire Business Awards Community Impact category. It is a great recognition of the important role credit unions play within communities and the vital financial services provided.” The credit union has gone from strength to strength, establishing itself as a vital service for more than 3,500 members in the local community

Blackburn, Seafield & District Credit Union

Blackburn Seafield and District Credit Union was formed in September 1994 originally for the residents in the villages of Blackburn and Seafield. Now, anyone who lives or works in the towns and villages to the west of Livingston including Harthill and Eastfield in North Lanarkshire, can join the Credit Union. In 1996 the first School Saving Scheme opened in Blackburn Primary School, this has grown to 20 School Saving Schemes where pupils save almost £40,000 a year. Through saving at school young people learn the practical side of financial education and hopefully develop a habit for life. The credit union has “Empty Your Piggy Bank Days” are provided throughout the year free of charge to be paid into a members credit union account. The credit union became a  member of ACE trade association in 2015 and  membership stood at 2700. the Credit Union offers a face to face service at  collection points in Addiewell , Bathgate, Fauldhouse, Stoneyburn, Armadale, Whitburn as well as the office in Blackburn.

10 Sycamore Walk, Blackburn, Bathgate EH47 7LQ

Pollok Credit Union Ltd

A dedicated group of volunteers were trained for over a year in all aspects of Credit Union management and finally in November 1993, Pollok Credit Union was registered. The first collection point was opened at the Pollok Community Centre on November 8th 1993. The common bond at the time covered all those who lived in the Pollok, Corkerhill and Crookston areas. In 1999 they expanded the common bond to cover all those who either lived or worked in the Greater Pollok area, this included those who were employed by the 246 firms in the Greater Pollok area. Funding was secured for two members of staff that helped enormously in developing the Credit Union and with the addition of collection points in Darnley, Arden and Kennishead. In 2002 a new collection point was opened within the Pollok Shopping Centre that had given the Credit Union a higher profile in the area. The common bond was further extended again in 2007 to include everyone who lives or works in the G postcode area.  In 2009 they moved into the Silverburn Shopping Centre as a joint venture with Pollok Post Office. In 2017 there are seven schools in the ‘G’ postcode that are currently involved in the Pollok Credit Union School Bank Savings Club. SAVVY savers at two Glasgow primary schools have saved more than £45,000 in their accounts. Cardonald Primary School Bank opened in 2012 and there are currently 110 pupils enrolled as members.  Our Lady of the Rosary launched its School Bank Saving Club in August 2017 and it’s already proving successful, with 100 pupils signed up and £3000 already saved. The initiative, which is supported by volunteers from the parent council, is run by four primary seven pupils appointed as bank staff. Pupils that are interested in taking on roles submit job applications and are interviewed to take on the roles of bank manager, assistant bank manager, cashiers and records clerk. The scheme was set up by PCU to encourage children to become financially aware from a young age. It also teaches them the importance of saving for the future as well as showing them how banking systems operate


Cupar Credit Union Ltd

Cupar Credit Union opened in 1999 thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers who knew the people of Cupar needed an alternative option to the high street banks. With support from Fife Council collection points were opened within the County Buildings of Cupar and an outreach point in Springfield church hall.

In 2004 the common bond was extended to cover the whole of the North East Fife and changed the name to reflect that. Collection points were opened in YMCA/YWCA Cupar, Town hall/ Library Anstruther, Guide hall Auchtermuchty and St Andrews (which sadly closed after 6 months due to lack of public interest).

There are plans to open other collection points in Newburgh, Tayport and hopefully other outreach areas if the support and volunteers become available. North East Fife is run solely by volunteers, some of whom are the elected Board of Management, who meet once a month to discuss all matters arising and to consider any plans for the future movement of the Credit Union. All Directors have an active role within the Credit Union. 

!st Class Credit Union Ltd

1st Class Credit Union was formed in 1992 and was originally set up to serve Employees of The Royal Mail Group in Glasgow. Since then we have expanded our membership base to cover the U.K.: All Royal Mail Group employees and their families. B.T, O2, Virgin Media, Capita and Santander employees and their families. CWU members and their families, CWU employees and their families, CWU retired members and their families. In other words, all workers in the Communications Industry and their Families are able to join 1st Class Credit Union. In 2016 Ist Class Credit Union was officially awarded Fairbanking Mark a five-star rating to their personal loan products. 2018 the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, and the Minister for Pensions & Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman MP, visit 1st Class Credit Union’s operational arrangements including chatting with staff and looking at new tech developments powered by credit union supplier, Incuto. There was also an opportunity to chat to two members of staff from 1st Class Credit Union, whom in the past dealt with financial difficulties and were supported by the credit union 

North Coatbridge Credit Union Ltd

North Coatbridge first registered for business on April 1994 with 20 members the management structure has not changed much since first registering. The management have always strived to be a self sustainable Credit Union and not relying on government funding. They were operating out of Alexander Resource Centre supplied by the social services up until the resource centre was due for closure in 2003. They purchased the first premises in 2003 with part funding from the European grant, due to the success they quickly grew out of their premises at 8 Sunnyside Road and were looking for bigger premises, which were found two doors down at 5 Sunnyside Road. They received part funding from North Lanarkshire Credit Union Regeneration Fund and purchased  new premises; at present they have two full time employees and two part time employees. They then purchased their own premises due to the thrift and diligence of the management structure created all those many years ago at Alexander Resource, the credit union would not be a success without the members. Therefore the more members North Coatbridge Credit Union has the more successful the credit union will become.

The management take great pride in what North Coatbridge Credit Union has achieved and are now striving towards making your Credit Union accessible by using our web site so members can conduct their business with the credit union from the comfort of there own home. Our membership at the moment stands at over 2000 members with new members joining every day and taking advantage of a well run Credit Union.


Stranraer Credit Union Ltd

A few local neighbours formed Stranraer Credit Union originally as a Savings Club and friends in the Dickshill area of Stranraer and collections were made in the resource centre there.  In 1999 it was accredited by the FSA (Financial Services Authority) as a Credit Union. It originally met in a one-room office in a car park but now rents office space near Stranraer town centre, which provides a more professional business environment.   Its common bond was initially for those who lived in the Stranraer and Rhins areas, but in 2012 our common bond area was extended to include the Machars area of Wigtownshire.

Phone 01776706911 Address 25 Hanover Square, Stranraer, DG9 7AG Dumfries & Galloway.

National Health Services Credit Union Ltd

The NHS Credit Union was started in November 1998. Founder member Robert Rae had started the ball rolling about 18 months earlier in his role as UNISON Branch Secretary of the Southern General Hospital Branch. With the support of the trade unions and the employer, Southern General NHS Trust, the original volunteers set about establishing the Credit Union.

   The credit union began its life operating from a nurse’s bedroom in Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital. Since then, the Credit Union has grown steadily, reaching a number of landmarks along the way, from opening the office at the Southern General and employing our first staff member, to developing to cover all NHS employees and their family members across the whole of Scotland and the North of England It now offers financial services to more than 11,500 members and looks after savings in excess of £12.6m. 

In 2016 the credit union was officially awarded Fairbanking Mark a five star rating to their personal loan products 

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St Machar Credit Union Ltd

St Machar Credit Union was started by local residents of Woodside and Seaton who were fed up with high interest door step lenders charging high interest rates for small loans and because they were not offered basic banking services because of their low incomes.

In 1986 a steering group came together and started the lengthy process of starting a credit union, which would be the first in Grampian. In November 1990 the credit union opened at its main office in 22B Sandilands Drive, Woodside Aberdeen

In 2002 because of demand from residents in the Middlefield area the credit union widenend its operating area to take in the Middlefield area.

In 2006 working in partnership with Langstane Housing Association the credit union widened its operating area to take in George Street - and also payroll deduction for Langstane Housing Association Employees

In 2009 due to members suggestion/requests and with help from local councillors the credit union started to offer Aberdeen City Council payroll deduction. SHMU (Station House Media Unit) employees requested this service and this was started in 2009

In November 2009 the credit union became recognised by the Department of Work and Pensions / HMRC as an authorised credit union able to accept benefits to pay into the credit union.

The credit union also moved premises from 22B Sandilands Drive to the new build at the Woodside Fountain Centre, two streets away but the first time the credit union changed its registered office since the credit union opened

In March 2013, the members present at AGM agreed for the second year running to adopt the changes in regulations for credit unions under the Scottish League of Credit Unions Rule Book - included within the changes is that small community business can open a credit union account

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Greater Govan Credit Union Ltd

Local residents who were concerned about the increasing number of local people experiencing financial exclusion founded greater Govan Credit Union on The 18th March 1997. Their aim was to create a financial co-operative which would encourage saving and offer low interest loans to their members.
After operating from different premises over five years, our current office on 15 Burleigh Street was opened in December 2002, followed by the opening of our Shawlands Branch in 2006.
In 2008, we extended our common bond to include anyone working or living in the G post code area and in October 2009 we merged with Ruchazie, Craigend and Garthamlock Credit Union. The Ruchazie office is on 427 Gartloch Road.
Our active membership is now up to 4000 adult members and 1500 juvenile members.

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Stirling Credit Union Ltd

Stirling Credit Union evolved from the Stirling Council Credit Union which was started in the late 1990’s for the benefit of Stirling Council employees as a simple means to save and borrow at affordable levels. In 2009, the credit union changed its name to Scotcentral Credit Union when it widened its common bond to become a community credit union to include individuals who either work or live within Stirling District, Clackmannanshire and parts of Lanarkshire. In 2013, Scotcentral Credit Union changed its name to Stirling Credit Union as part of a re branding.New members in December 2014 sign up free lunch Monday 1st of December Municipal Buildings, Council Chambers come and join the Credit Union! STIRLING UNIVERSITY can now save with Stirling Credit Union by payroll deduction. Staff employed by Stirling Council have been able to save like this for number of years. November 2016, they received funding to employ a Schools Development Worker on a part-time, fixed term contract. Job is to develop schools’ savings clubs in more Stirling schools and help develop financial teaching materials. The Credit Unionhave just broken through 1,000 total (adult and junior) members January 2017! A new office was officially opened by Provost Christine Simpson on Thursday 31 August 2017. 

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Dalmuir Credit Union Ltd

Dalmuir Credit Union began by a group of people in 1977 led by Rose and John Dorman.

From its early life in a church hall, Dalmuir CU grew quickly and moved to a school hut in 1983, where it remained until 2001, when it became the first credit union in Britain to build its own premises. By this time, Dalmuir had been the largest community credit union in Britain for some years and the then Scottish Secretary, Helen Liddell, opened the new building in the centre of Clydebank, which serves over 6,500 members.

Address: 15 Abbotsford Road. Address: Address: City: Clydebank. Postcode: G81 1PA. County: West Dunbartonshire. Country: Scotland. Telephone 0141 952 3776 Email 



Dunbarton Credit Union Ltd

In the early autumn of 1985 a meeting to discuss the possibility of forming a Credit Union to serve the people living in the West End was held.  Despite an initial show of interest the project had fizzled out by the summer of 1986.  The outcome of a December 1988 meeting was the formation of a Steering Committee or Study Group to further the object of setting up a local Credit Union. Throughout 1989 the learning process continued. Regular visits were made to establish credit unions in the area. On the 24th of May 1990, Dumbarton Credit Union was given the Register number 47 C and commenced helping people.

The full history of Dunbarton Credit Union is availble with this link and is very interesting 

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Tail O' the Bank Credit Union

The Study group began in 1982 took sometime till it became established in 1985 as Greenock East Credit Union initially operated from locations such as community halls and schools on various housing schemes in an area of high unemployment. In 1999, they moved to premises close to Greenock town centre and becoming one of the first credit unions in Scotland to buy premises outright. With the move came a new name., it became ‘Tail o’ the Bank Credit and had gone from strength to strength acquiring around 50 new members a month, amalgamating with another credit union. its common bond expanded to take in the entire local authority area with the Larkfield, Branchton and Braeside Credit Union joining forces. Tail o' the Bank CU premises were ideally situated, right next to the bus terminal, so everyone could see the shop front as the first port of call.
The common bond is for people residing in the boundaries of the South side of the River Clyde, East side of Bank Street, William Street, Wellington Street, Mearns Street, Drumfrocher Road, South side of Kilmun Terrace. South side of Renton Road including Riverdene Estate. The east side of the Gibbshill feeder Road to Pottery Street and the River Clyde.Now in 2016 membership has grown to over 8000 and that includes young members for the future.

No website 24 Kilblain St, Greenock, Renfrewshire, PA15 1SR

Phone  01475734655 E-Mail

Value Credit Union Ltd


Value Credit Union is believed to be the oldest retail employee credit union in the UK

Started and registered as Co-Operative Wholesale Society (Scotland) Credit Union in June 1988 with the office based with the payroll department of the Co-operative Wholesale Society. By 1997 membership had reached 1000 continuing with steady growth and by the year 2000 were in the position to purchase their own office in Glasgow City Centre with now 2000 members and began to employ full time staff. After 15 years of trading in September 2003 there was a name change to The Co-operative group (Scotland) Employee Credit Union with savings reaching 2 million. The launch of an interactive website came in March 2004 and well received by the membership. In 2006 the name of Value Credit Union was registered with the common bond successfully extended to include the whole of the UK where member ship increased to 4000 by 2012. A dividend of 2.5% was agreed at the AGM in November 2013 in celebration of 25 years of service to members. In summer 2014 the credit union launched their new and exclusive mobile phone app. Hundreds of members took advantage in downloading the app a positive response that exceeded expectations. In 2018 the 30th year of trading at the 29th AGM the 0.5% dividend and 5% loan interest rebate was paid  for the first time in recognition that members should share in the success of the credit union.

Falkirk District Credit Union (FDCU)

The credit union was established in 1994 by a group of taxi drivers and was initially set up as a savings club but was registered in June 1995. The first loan granted was understood to be for £500 and was handed out in 1995. In 2007 Westquarter and Redding Community Credit Union who had started in 1991 joined the existing savings group and the name was changed to Falkirk District Credit Union. Membership grew further over the next ten years. 2014 saw Grangemouth Credit Union established in 1998 transfer to Falkirk District Credit Union. November 2015 some Local politicians got together with members to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Credit Union. Also in that year the credit union had just over £1.6 million in shares and loans of £848,000. Membership stood at 2233 adult and 524 junior members and there have been many more throughout the years. Development also in 2015 of on line access via the website was greatly received by the membership. In march 2016 the credit union took part in Westquarter &. Redding. Community Project providing a successful outcome of what the credit union can offer to the community. On Wednesday 27th September 2017 refreshments were provided for the newly refurbished office with a cake and coffee. Launch of the event was also  to raise funds for Strathcarron Hospice in memory of Margaret Bennett, a former board member. In addition, all new members £2 joining fees from the week were donated to Strathcarron Hospice.


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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

14.01 | 10:46
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