The Pentecostal Credit Union (PCU), founded in 1980 by Rev Carmel Jones, will celebrate this landmark birthday on June 6.
Rev Jones, a minister within the Church of God in Christ launched the PCU in 1980, initially operating
from a room in Balham. It is now one of the 10 largest credit unions in the UK, with over 1,500 members and members’ savings at over £7.5 million.
Rev Jones started the PCU in order to overcome the obstacles black people faced
trying to access financial services from leading institutions, and to fund their projects and business initiatives. He was inspired to set up the PCU after reading about credit unions in a newspaper article as they are non-profit organisations, set up by members
with something in common who pool their resources by saving regularly. He thought a credit union would be perfect to meet black people’s needs, and decided to make membership open to people who practise the Pentecostal faith and their families. As news
spread about the PCU’s financial services people approached them for loans to finance their businesses, purchase churches as well as make use of its saving schemes and personal loans.