We’re at that point in the year where summer is just about holding on but the cooler temperatures and the quickly darkening evenings tell us that autumn is just around the corner. Summer feels like it is vanishing before it ever really happened; the easing of restrictions on socialising came part way through the summer and the lack of holidays for many has left us all feeling a little displaced.
At Stockport Credit Union it has nevertheless been a more normal year than last year. We returned to the office in stages during the spring and it now almost feels like we were never away. During August we were busy processing school uniform loans for the return to school in September and we were delighted during the month to hit an important milestone – we issued our 3000th loan within the financial year, something we have never done before.
Our financial year end is now only a month away, and it is already clear that we will have enjoyed a record year by both loan numbers and by the value of money lent. This is important to us as it tells us that we are becoming more widely recognised and valued within our Common Bond (the area we operate within). We are very conscious of the fact that every pound that our members save is a pound nearer to them having some financial resilience, and every pound our members save on loan interest is likely to be a pound put back into the local economy. Credit Unions are fantastic vehicles for keeping money within an economy and thereby supporting jobs and businesses. We’re proud of the impact we know we have within the borough, both at individual level and at the level of supporting the economy of Stockport.
Our busiest time of year is now almost here. Every year we help many families to cover the cost of Christmas and given that it looks likely that Christmas will be less restricted this year, we anticipate higher demand than in 2020. As we did last year, we will be relaxing our rules on the dates for top-up loans to ensure that people can borrow before Christmas even if their next qualifying date would normally only be in the last part of December.
Over the summer we have welcomed two new payroll partners: Allied Bakery and Belle Vue Coaches and Buses. This means that their employees can now benefit from our payroll deduction service, making saving as easy as possible and ensuring safe repayment of loans. In total, almost 14000 employees now have access to our products and services, but we will be looking to take on more businesses in the coming months. Our only restrictions are that they must have at least 75 staff and be located within the SK1 to SK8 postcode areas. Do you know of a firm that would make a good partner for us? If so, drop us a line or ask them to contact us.
We have lots of plans for further improvements to our products and services and we’re pleased to announce that we are now able to offer our Secured Loan product at a lower interest rate than previously, which demonstrates our commitment to giving value back to members. Remember – we have no shareholders so we’re able to return money to savers and borrowers as their credit union becomes more successful. We aim to make further cuts to loan interest rates in the coming months and years.
Due to the investment that we have made during Covid, we expect to be able to continue to deliver the improved service that we demonstrated last autumn. We look forward to serving all our members, new and existing alike.
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