Credit Unions are membership-based not-for profit organisations whose core principle is that they are owned by their members, its policyholders and employees. Members have a say in how their credit union is run and may receive a share of the surplus – a dividend.
The idea is that members mutually benefit as there’s no profit for third-party shareholders. This can often mean helping those who can’t get access to ordinary bank products; a lifeline in less well-off communities for folks grappling with their finances.
To become a member of Stockport Credit Union you must live or work in SK1-SK8 area of Stockport or work for one of our Payroll Partners.
Why should I join a Credit Union?
Well, there are huge advantages…
- As a stakeholder, you are a shareholder
If you join a credit union you do not simply do so as a customer, you become part of the credit union as a shareholder, and therefore as a member. This gives you the right to attend yearly AGMs and have a say in how the credit union is run.
- Credit Unions are rooted in the Local Community
Credit Unions are locally based, not-for-profit organisations, and they can only offer membership for people who work/live in their catchment area. Because credit unions are not competing nationally for attention and business, this gives them freedom and focus on providing affordable, ethical loans as well as other financial services to members. Credit unions are not exclusively there for those who are less well off, often people choose to save with their local credit union and Stockport Credit Union also offers a fantastic payroll deduction services for Stockport employers.
- Credit Unions promote ethical lending and social responsibility
Because there isn’t pressure put on Credit Unions to generate increasing profit, it allows Credit Unions to exercise responsibility to make sure every decision is made in the best interest of their members. This allows them to play a unique role within local communities, for example by providing financial education (via working with local schools and young people within the community) as well as promoting healthy financial well-being and advice for those who wish to use their services. They are also far more reliable and reputable than doorstep lending or payday loans.
What products do Credit Unions offer?
Most credit unions come into their own for loans of smaller amounts of under £3,000. Many people who borrow these amounts would otherwise only be able to resort to doorstep lending.
Stockport Credit Union offer a range of loans for a range of circumstances.
This is something that all credit unions offer in some shape or form. What differs from a high street account is that a credit union’s savings often pay you a dividend, which is dependent on how well the credit union has done that year instead of a confirmed interest rate.
Are Credit Unions Regulated?
Credit Unions are jointly regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Before any credit union can offer any financial services, it must be both authorised by the PRA and be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
For more information
The Money Advice Service website has lots of useful information about borrowing and managing your money.
The Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) – www.abcul.org
ACE Credit Union Services – www.acecus.org