What is a Community Bank?

50 years of credit union - community bankDerbyshire Community Bank is the trading name for Erewash Credit Union.

There are around 400 Credit Unions (CU’s) in Britain which together provide responsible savings and loans to over 1 million people and look after over £1 billion in assets.

In 2014 CU’s celebrated 50 years in the UK, yet despite this we are a relative unknown.

Credit unions are:

  • not-for-profit
  • financial co-operatives
  • owned and controlled by its members.

What we are not:

  • A trade union
  • A poor man’s bank – we offer financial services for all tiers of the local community and can compete with other financial institutions on the products we offer
  • Pawn brokers.

Not for profit:

  • No big shareholders
  • No banker’s bonuses – any profits that are made by a CU are ploughed back into services or paid as a dividend to members
  • Some Members say that they see CU’s as the ethical alternative to banks
  • And what they like is that their money stays in the local community and helps local people.

Financial co-operatives – a financial institution that is owned and operated by its members:

As a financial cooperative we offer a full range of banking services, including transactional and savings accounts, as well as loans that carry a rate of interest that is highly competitive with other institutions.  We offer online banking, where Members are able to manage their money online, check balances, pay bills and apply for loans.

CU’s owned and controlled by their members:

Once you join a Credit Union, and by maintaining a £1 running balance, you become a voting member of that CU and can have a say in how it is run at our AGM.  Some of our members take up posts on the CU board and take a more active role in shaping the way the CU operated.

Common bond:

All CU’s have a common bond, something that ties all its members together – so for example all our members either live or work in Derbyshire, so it’s a geographical bond, for other CU’s it might be an employment bond where all its members work for the same organisation, or a particular community.

 

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