British Credit Union Historical Society

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London Capital Credit Union

In 1994 Islington Council had a loans scheme with the co-op bank for Islington council employees. The council would receive commission from the bank and this commission was used in helping to set up the credit union.

Mark Badcock, an employee for the council, had the lead on this venture. Along with the voluntary action group and some very keen co-operative party councillors they explored the possibility of setting up a Credit Union for Islington. A report went to the council and the idea was approved for the setting up of a credit union for Islington Council Employees to begin with. A study group was formed among the council staff and the task of training began. Peter Bussy, a development worker with the credit unions trade body, the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL), provided this. The journey of learning to get approval had begun. Islington Council Employees Credit Union Ltd (ICECUL) was established in 1997 to provide savings and loans for employees of Islington Council. To help with this the council funded a part time administrator who later was found to be failing in carring out the duties and regulatory requirements that was nessacary to maintain a sustainable credit union. 

The credit union had not grown very much in the first few years about 200 members. A few years later the steering group was reformed by Paul Thurlow to consider a Credit Union with interested parties from the wider Islington community. After some time the employee’s credit union was having difficulties both financially and the administration was not up to required standards. One course for the steering group was to merge with them to form a joint taskforce and steer to the creation of Islington City wide credit union. However this was proving difficult because of differences of opinions. Helen Baron who had joined the group in the late stages became the Chair and along with Martin Groombridge a co-operative consultant, employed by Southern Housing they helped gel the group together for the survival of the employee credit union with 435 members. They pushed forward for a wider community Credit Union by expanding the Common Bond of the employee credit union to Living and working in Islington. With Helen Baron as President, Paul Thurlow as Secretary and Mark Badcock as Treasurer Islington City credit union were established in 2007.  Martin Groombridge ran the credit union for the year as a part-time consultant. This credit union experienced challenging times when it came to light that some administration was in default. However the matter was dealt with delicately over a long period of time and to the satisfaction of good practice and needs of the service. The credit union increased its membership dramatically for the next few years.

Later in 2008 Haringey city council put out a tender for providing a credit union service to its residents. This resulted in the creation of Haringey & Islington City Credit Union. Haringey city Council having accepted the Credit Union with a grant also offered every child starting secondary school in the borough for one term only a £20 savings account. This was a booster as parents joined as well and Numbers increased for both adults and junior savers. Throughout the years the credit unions were supported with various grants, which used for specific purposes such as working with schools churches community centres and housing providers. Lots of employers supported payroll deduction making the credit union even stronger.

Then came a further merger with Northwest London Credit Union made up from three previous mergers Graham Park & Watling CU, Finchley CU and Barnet Employees They all still operated as individual credit unions Barnet employee credit union had a worker and Graham Park had office on the estate. All three credit unions were operating efficiently but were struggling to meet capital requirements recently raised by the regulators. That is the reasons for the discussions with Islington & Haringey & City credit union and at this point in 2011 the name changed to London Capital Credit Union (LCCU).

Radio Cabs based at Finsbury Park station was originally a co-operative of cabbies. In order to encourage people to join they started Northwest London Radio Cabs credit union. Company employees who found that they were paying too much for credit ran the credit union. Later the radio cabs ceased to be a co-operative and became a limited company because of the changes that were taking place in the taxi business in and around London. The new company found that the Credit Union was a distraction. The company were very happy for London Capital to take it over and their members got much better services, so it was a win situation for all.

 

Hornsey Co-operative Credit Union was set up by 10 members of the Ferme Park Baptist church who were unable to get credit from the banks and was familiar with credit unions in their native Jamaica. Originally an informal savings club from 1962, it was registered on the sixth of April 1964 with the Industrial and Provident Society Act with the common bond for residents of Haringey. This was 15 years before credit unions gained legal structure in Great Britain under the Credit Unions Act 1979. By the time of its first Annual General Meeting, it had grown to over 100 members.

The credit Union had an office at no 2 Drysland Road and eventually they bought no 6 Dryland Road. The Credit Union has a long history within the movement in the United Kingdom and played a pivotal roll in the formation of the Credit Union league of Great Britain in the late 60’s and onwards.

In 2012, Hornsey Co-operative Credit Union with its dedicated volunteers and directors getting older, the board approached London Capital Credit Union with a view to merger in 2013. After 49 years of independent trading, the remaining 250 members with only one active loan on the books of the credit union voted to transfer engagements to its larger neighbour. When all is said and done it was costing them a lot in fees when and most of the accounts were dormant. They had started the credit union when they need it back then and now they no longer needed it. It had become semi dormant although with excellent reserves. In 2014 Elaine Greaves daughter of one of the founding fathers Mr & Mrs Blair Greaves of Hornsey credit union was co-opted on to the board of London Capital continuing the family involvement in the credit union movement. 

In the financial year 2015-16, the credit union’s membership increased by 19%, savings by 22% and loan balances by a huge 30%.

Contact Tel: 020 7561 1786 (Multilingual advisors available)  •  Fax: 020 7272 8192  •  Email: info@credit-union.coop 

Achievements 

London Capital can now allow any member or employee of The Co-operative Group, London & South East Region, and also all members of Unite the Union in the Greater London area to join.

The Fairbanking Foundation - the not-for-profit charity dedicated to encouraging banking institutions to improve the financial well being of their customers has awarded Mark certifications to London Capital Credit Union.

 The London Living Wage award marks the continuing commitment by London Capital Credit Union in Archway, where, regardless of whether they are permanent employees, third-party contractors or suppliers, everyone receives a minimum hourly wage of £9.40 – significantly higher than the current national minimum wage of £6.70.

A group of credit union leaders from Singapore has visited  the credit union. The delegation from Singapore was visiting the United Kingdom for the World Credit Union Conference 2016, which was held in Belfast.

The credit union launched an App in the summer of 2018 to make it easier for members to use their account and provide full access outside normal working hours. The free App has finger print technology which is good news for those members who forget passwords.

London Capital Credit Union Jeremy Hopgood Rooms Caxton House 129 St. John's Way London N19 3RQ

Link to documents and photos

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B6WjYYhdd9jXS0FscGlMNGc4WXc&usp=sharing 

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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.

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27.08 | 20:58

very very best knowledge toture and lovely group, geting a knowledge and share a experiance from all member of DE2015. what a lovely group?

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14.07 | 04:57

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

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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

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