British Credit Union Historical Society

Dalmuir Credit Union Ltd

in 1976 was at the instigation of Rose Dorman and a group of friends from the church who decided they should do something to help themselves and their neighbours make their money stretch further. The founders of the credit union were all housewives and none had any higher education. With help from other established credit unions the founders learnt the basics of how to get going.  At the launch later in 1977 that attracted 75 members Rose’s husband John became the first treasurer. In the first nine months membership grew to 300 and paid out £3000 in loans. From its early life in a church hall, Dalmuir credit union grew quickly and moved to a school hut in 1983. 1991 saw membership grow to 2700 and lending to £750,000.

In 2001, 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. The credit union had a boost in 2012 Clydebankresidents were leaving the high street banks behind in favour of the credit union.The credit union believe trust and the old-fashioned personal touch are big factors in attracting the new savers and now can boast an impressive 8,500 members. In 2015 West Dunbartonshire Council’s Starter for Ten initiative, saw the council give every primary seven pupils in the area £10 to invest in a credit union. Pupils from Gavinburn Primary started paying in money regularly. They know how important it is to build up their savings and they think they really enjoy it.


Both Rose and John have since passed away and further information about them is in the Roll of Honour page.

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

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. 

Dumbarton 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 by the Registrar.

In 2014 From its humble beginnings in 1990 when it had just 27 members, the organisation has now blossomed to a point where it boasts more than 3000 active adult members and 1100 juniors. So successful has it become the DCU is expanding, with new financial products, and hopefully another member of staff being recruited and the looking for larger premises. The credit union is with partners looking to set up a new ‘CredEcard’ which is a front-loaded card that can pay bills or rent and act like a debit card at ATMs. There was celebrations in 2015 for the  25th anniversary of the Dumbarton Community Credit Union.

Comprehensive history link open in new tab 

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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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