British Credit Union Historical Society

From February 1992 has been operating first as Lancashire Police and Staff Associations Credit Union. Starting out in a police house bathroom on the Lancashire Police Headquarters complex.  It was the brain child of a Lancashire Police Federation representative who wanted something more and better for Police employees. Two months later changing to Federation and Staff Association Credit Union from April the same year. In July 1998, the name became what is now Blues and Twos serving Lancashire & Cumbria Police, Fire and Ambulance services. eventually spreading membership across Lancashire & Cumbria more than 7300 employed in the emergency services, for local and county councils, in schools, colleges & universities as well as the county and local councils and members of Unison and Unite the Union working in the two counties. The credit union also looks after over 200 juniors’ savers. Word of mouth has historically been the best form of advertising with members introducing others.  For the past number of years, the total savings had grown at a far greater pace than the loan book. The marketing mix during 2016 was extended to reach those savers who were looking for loans but had never borrowed from the credit union. As a result, the credit union made new loans in early 2017 worth near £300K. The credit union celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2017 with a growth over the years of 7,300 members who have savings worth £12.4 million and are borrowing £6 million. The anniversary will see the provision of a new exciting interactive website taking the credit union into the future.  At the start of 2018 it was reported the credit union was awarded 5 stars award from the Fairbanking Foundation. This was after reading the feedback from the IPOS MORI survey in which credit union borrowing members were asked about their lending experience and after sales care.

 “Working for you and not for profit”.

Cooperative Credit Union Ltd

Formed in 1998 the Co-operative Credit Union was set up for co-operative group employees and their families. It is now open to employees and pensioners of a range of co-operative organisations all across the United Kingdom. Changes in legislation gave a lot more flexibility about who could join and who could not. The Credit Union received a large award of £100,000 in 2014 to support their reserves and allow them to investigate the feasibility of their plans for growth. The credit union was seeking to extend its membership beyond employees of the Co-operative Group to allow it to serve people employed by or associated with a wide range of organisations in the co-operative and third sector. The Co-operative Credit Union now serves members of the USDAW shop workers trade union, members of the National Association of Co-operative Officials, members of the Co-operative Party, and employees of the mid counties Co-operative Society as well as 8 other new partner organisations. As a result, the credit union added more than 1,000 new members in a year – an increase of more than 20% – and is well on its way to reaching its ambitious target of 10,000 members in 2017.

After 20 years of dedicated service to the sector, CCU now has seven members of staff and 25 volunteers helping sustain the credit union. At the 2018 AGM, CCU reported on their end of year finances and announced to members that they had managed over £5m of members savings and given out loans of £2.5 m. Celebrating their 20th anniversary year of operation pride was expressed that from a relatively modest beginning the credit union has grown into a thriving operation, serving the needs of more than 8,000 members, and their families, drawn from a range of co-operative and mutual organisations across the UK. As part of its 20th anniversary, a credit union pioneer is recognised for his contribution to the movement and awards the Graham Southall Award for passionate support and volunteering for the credit union to Charles Sim. Mr Sim has been involved in the credit union sector for over 25 years and is chair of the Supervisory Committee of the Co-operative Credit Union.

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Manchester Unity Credit Union Lyd

Credit Unions in the Oddfellows

They were started in the Midlands in 1991 and grew until membership in 2001 was 180 They were followed by North London in 1994 with approximately 40 members but no growth by 2001 Yorkshire started with a savings group 1997. By this time the regulator, the Registrar of Friendly Societies was taking more interest and a two-year training programme was undertaken leading up to a two-hour interview with a representative of the registrar. They were finally registered in January 1999.

Late in 1999 Government announced that credit unions would come under the Financial Services Authority and with the increase in legislation which followed it became apparent that the three credit unions could not survive individually. Talks took place between the credit unions and the Board of the Oddfellows to seek their sponsorship which resulted in Manchester Unity Credit Union Ltd coming into being on 1st September 2001, with a common bond covering England, Scotland and Wales.

Membership today has passed the 600 mark and the Credit Union has its own administrator based in Manchester


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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
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