Following service in the Royal Navy I started a career in financial services, working in consumer finance. My first job involved me dealing face to face with customers, both when they applied for loans, and resolving any problems should they repaying their loans. These experiences convinced me of the need for consumer protection and responsible lending.
Later in my career I worked for an insurance company, promoting payment protection plans direct to banks and building societies. Despite the negative publicity and reputation that payment protection has, I was able to witness the good that payment protection did for the very many people who claimed, either because of illness or redundancy or loss of life. Payment Protection did a lot of good. Unfortunately, many of the banks oversold the product and adopted questionable selling techniques. This experience convinced me of the need for lenders that were focussed on their community, and not profit.
After an undistinguished school education, I embarked on educational programmes. One of the degrees I completed required me to research the consumer lending market. It was at this time that I became fully aware of the Credit Union movement and the good it can do for customers, and the wider community. It is often said that Credit Unions and Community Banks are almost a hidden secret. Community Banks do not have the massive advertising budgets to compete with banks, but they do rely on satisfied members of the community telling others.
Derbyshire Community Bank (Erewash Credit Union) is an excellent facility for people who live, or work, in Derbyshire. It is an organisation that fully understands the local area.
I am proud to be able to serve as a Board Director of Derbyshire Community Bank.