Category Archives: London Capital Credit Union

Nine out of ten members rate London Capital Credit Union

Eight in ten credit union members nationally are satisfied with the services offered, while in north London, London Capital Credit Union sees nine out of ten members rating its financial services as ‘very high’.

LCCU logo

The largest ever survey of credit union customers, published by Financial Inclusion Centre, found that 81% of members across the country were extremely satisfied or very satisfied with their credit union, while 84% said they would recommend a friend or family member. This compares to a recent Which? survey showing that mainstream banks’ average overall customer satisfaction score was only 68%.

Islington-based London Capital Credit Union is one of the largest and fastest growing credit unions in the capital, with over 15,000 members and outstanding lending of nearly £12 million. As a not-for-profit co-operative, London Capital Credit Union provides savings and low cost loans to people living, working or studying in Barnet, Camden, City of London, Hackney, Haringey and Islington.

Financial Inclusion Centre research also demonstrated just how important the broad range of financial services being delivered by these not-for-profit financial providers are, with the majority of respondents using their credit union as an affordable and fair source of borrowing – giving them an invaluable alternative to high-cost credit such as payday loans, rent-to-own firms and door-step lenders.

Credit unions work hard to help their members understand financial issues and members are shown to score well compared to the general population on a range of financial capability measures, saying they feel they have their finances under control and are confident in dealing with money matters.

Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union, said: “The findings of the largest ever credit union customer satisfaction survey back up what we see at London Capital Credit Union and show that most members are extremely satisfied with the services provided.

“With the current pressures on household finances, credit unions such as ours provide an essential lifeline for many, offering affordable loans in time of need and supporting people to develop a saving habit. At London Capital Credit Union, we believe it is important to help people make the most of their finances and this survey shows the hugely positive contribution that credit unions make to our communities.”

Mick McAteer, Co-Director of Financial Inclusion Centre, added: “These results are very encouraging and go to show that credit unions are highly regarded by those that use them, with higher satisfaction rates than mainstream banks.”

 A copy of the report, ‘An Insight into Credit Union Membership’, can be found here.

International recognition for Islington Council and London Capital Credit Union

Islington Council’s work in support of its local credit union has gained international recognition as it hosted a group of senior managers from Singapore.

Singapore Visit

The photo shows (from left to right): Ms Dolly Goh, Chief Executive of the Singapore National Co-operative Federation, Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council, and Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union.

The group from the Singapore National Co-operative Federation was greeted by the Leader of Islington Council, Councillor Richard Watts, at Islington Town Hall, before visiting the offices of the credit union in Archway.

The delegation met with representatives from Islington Council and London Capital Credit Union at the Town Hall and heard how the council had supported London Capital Credit Union to become the success it now is and how this benefits residents across the borough.

The group then visited the credit union to speak directly with members and staff about the credit union’s mission and the way it encourages saving and responsible lending to residents in Islington and beyond.

Cllr Watts said: “These are difficult times for hard pressed families in Islington and beyond, as many people deal with the rising cost of living.

“Multiple loans from payday lenders are a pathway to deeper poverty, and the council has taken action to support residents to avoid getting into problem debt.

“Part of this work has been to support London Capital Credit Union, as an accessible and affordable way for people to deal with their finances.

“I am very pleased to be supporting this organisation and the excellent work it does in Islington.”

Islington Council supported London Capital Credit Union with a one-off grant of £250,000 and provides annual revenue support funding of £25,000.

Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union, said: “Credit unions are an ethical alternative to banks and other high street lenders and their way of working is designed to benefit all members.

“We are always pleased to be able to share our knowledge with others around the world and we enjoyed meeting the delegation from Singapore and welcoming them to London, and to Islington in particular.”

Credit unions in Britain have been growing consistently over the past few years as they become better known and they now have almost 1.3 million members across the country.

Added Martin Groombridge: “Over the last ten years, London Capital Credit Union has seen a huge 1,400% increase in members’ savings from £436,000 to over £6 million. And as a co-operative, we are proud that London Capital Credit Union is owned and controlled by its members – not outside shareholders.”

Find out more at www.credit-union.coop.

London Capital Credit Union receives highest Fairbanking Mark from The Fairbanking Foundation

The Fairbanking Foundation – the not-for-profit charity dedicated to encouraging banking institutions to improve the financial well-being of their customers – has awarded its first Mark certifications to credit unions with London Capital Credit Union receiving 5 stars for its personal loan products.

London Capital Credit Union had to demonstrate that its personal loan customers have experienced a tangible positive impact on their financial wellbeing from using their products.

Martin Groombridge

Martin Groombridge

Speaking about the award of the 5 star mark, Martin Groombridge, CEO, London Capital Credit Union, said: “Our focus is always on our members, which is why 76% of our personal loan customers interviewed by the Foundation said that they had one or more other products with us. It is not just about offering competitive and transparent products, but also a range of features and services that help people manage their money better.

“Many in the financial services industry are too obsessed with getting into best-buy tables, but to do this transparency can often be lost with many products offering short term “teaser rates” that can quickly get expensive. People with these products can end up worse off than if they chose another product that takes a more holistic approach to helping customers with their money.”

Fairbanking’s assessment also reviews the provider’s complaints procedures and experience for the product in question. Antony Elliott, Chief Executive of Fairbanking Foundation said: “Our quality mark programme is an important step in helping customers to identify products that have been rigorously tested for the financial well-being they can deliver. Crucially, it also provides a powerful incentive for financial institutions of all sizes to compete through continual improvement of their products in ways that will truly benefit their customers.”

Over the last ten years, London Capital Credit Union has seen a 1,400% increase in members’ savings from £436,000 to over £6 million. And as co-operative, London Capital Credit Union is owned and controlled by its members – not outside shareholders.

Find out more at www.credit-union.coop.

New website for London Capital Credit Union

LCCU logoLondon Capital Credit Union has launched its updated website, with the dual aim of providing members with a better online membership offer and of increasing communication with members.

The new website has been designed to provide members with easier access to their accounts online and has been particularly focused on smartphone and tablet use. It is also more social media friendly, allowing visitors to share news stories on Facebook and Twitter.

Speaking about the new site, Don Kehoe, Secretary and Director of London Capital, said: “Although we wanted to refresh the look of our website, getting mobile-friendly functions was important too, so our members can check their accounts on the go. We also wanted to ensure that members can easily find out more about their credit union and what it has been doing.”

London Capital Credit Union is a not-for-profit co-operative dedicated to promoting saving and dealing with debt. Established in 1962 it provides secure savings and low cost loans for anyone living, working or studying in Barnet, Camden, City of London, Hackney, Haringey or Islington.

The new website can be found at http://www.credit-union.coop and is built on the Progress platform.

Ten years of growth for London credit union

LCCU logoLondon Capital Credit Union has welcomed the latest figures from the Bank of England which show that credit unions have grown dramatically over the last decade. 

While the most recent figures from 362 credit unions show credit union membership and lending have more than doubled over the past ten years, figures at London Capital show a thirty-fold increase in members, from 321 to 10,062.

Over the last ten years, London Capital Credit Union has also seen a 1400% increase in members’ savings from £436,000 to over £6 million.

The latest Bank of England figures are great news for British credit unions,” says Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union. “Since the first credit union was set up in Britain over 50 years ago, the sector has continued to thrive and it is good to see that growth has gathered pace in the last ten years.

“As our figures show, London Capital is one of the credit unions leading the charge and we are so proud to be delivering affordable financial services to thousands of Londoners.”

London Capital Credit Union is dedicated to promoting saving and helping people deal with debt. It provides secure savings and low cost loans for anyone living, working or studying in Barnet, Camden, City of London, Hackney, Haringey or Islington.

Across England, Scotland and Wales there are now over 1,173,200 people with credit union accounts.

As a co-operative, London Capital Credit Union is owned and controlled by its members – not outside shareholders.

Find out more at www.credit-union.coop.

Credit union saved Londoners £6.5m in interest payments

People who have taken out loans with London Capital Credit Union in the last 12 months have together saved over £6.5 million in interest payments and other charges.

Martin Groombridge

Martin Groombridge

The figures were revealed by Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of the credit union, as he encouraged people to see for themselves how much they could save by becoming a credit union member.

£5.3 million. According to Martin Groombridge, these loans saved local people a significant amount of money. “We estimate that our members will have saved £6.5 million in interest, charges and fees by switching their borrowing to us from payday lenders and other high interest lenders.”

A loan from a credit union such as London Capital Credit Union will result in lower repayments than from a payday lender or a doorstep loan. Said Martin: “That’s where people taking our loans in London can really benefit. What’s more, our ‘Saver Loans’ are designed to help people get into the savings habit, without racking up high interest charges.”

A typical £1,000 loan from the credit union, paid back over one year, would cost a total of just £67 in interest. This is a tiny fraction of what it would cost to borrow from a payday lender, for instance.

“That extra money stays in the local economy,” says Martin, “which has to be good news for everyone.”

London Capital Credit Union is a not-for-profit co-operative dedicated to promoting saving and dealing with debt. Established in 1962 it now has 11,000 members and £7m of assets and provides secure savings and low cost loans for anyone living, working or studying in Barnet, Camden, City of London, Hackney, Haringey or Islington.

Find out more at www.credit-union.coop.

Volunteering does Omkar credit!

When Omkar Hushing came to Britain shortly after getting married, he already had experience working for a mortgage lender in Mumbai. However, he was unable to find a job in the UK until he volunteered at London Capital Credit Union.

Omkar Hushing

Omkar Hushing

“It was very hard for me to get a job when I first moved here, because people didn’t think my experience in India was relevant to the UK market,” says Omkar from Hither Green.

But now, following three months’ volunteering with London Capital Credit Union, Omkar has secured a full time job with Initial Finance in West London. “Before I had the experience at the credit union, it was hard to get an interview let alone a job,” he says.

“During my time volunteering with the credit union I met some fantastic people and I was able to help with loan decisions for their members.”

London Capital Credit Union, based in Archway, is a not-for-profit co-operative dedicated to promoting saving and dealing with debt and provides secure savings and low cost loans for anyone living, working or studying in Barnet, Camden, City of London, Hackney, Haringey or Islington.

As a volunteer at the credit union, Omkar helped out in a number of administrative roles, but he says he was most at home with the loan process.

Credit unions offer relatively small – but affordable – loans to their members. Says Omkar: “Credit unions help people get back onto their feet and I can say that they also offered me a great chance to establish myself in the UK.”

According to Omkar, the credit union’s ethical approach to financial services will stay with him in his future career. “Credit unions really do good; they care about their customers and the way they treat people will influence how I deal with people in the future.”

To find out more about how London Capital Credit Union could help you, please visit www.credit-union.coop.

New text messaging service makes managing money easier

Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union

Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union

A new text messaging service from London Capital Credit Union will help savers and borrowers keep track of their money by allowing them to find out their account balances using their mobile phone.

The locally-owned credit union offers people in the area both savings accounts and affordable loans and the text balance service is one of a number of ways that London Capital Credit Union is making managing money easier. Members can already access their accounts online and a new mobile app is due to be launched later this year.

By texting the words “mybalance” to the credit union at any time, credit union members who have registered their mobile phone numbers can receive a text message listing their account balances. Balances are updated in real time, meaning loans, savings accounts and membership account balances are all shown on the text service.

Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union, said: “Staying in control of your money is easiest when you know how much money you have in your account so we are pleased to be able to introduce this new service to help our members manage their money.

“Our new text messaging service is available 24 hours a day so members can check their balances at any time. Texts are charged at standard rates and it is free for members to receive their balance information.”

Martin added: “We like the human touch and are proud of the advice we can give to our members face to face, but we know there is a role for modern technology to help members keep track of their own finances.”

London Capital Credit Union is a not-for-profit co-operative dedicated to promoting saving and dealing with debt. Established in 1962 it provides secure savings and low cost loans for anyone living, working or studying in Barnet, Camden, City of London, Hackney, Haringey or Islington.

Find out more at www.credit-union.coop.

Linklaters support London Capital Credit Union

LCCU logo 2A donation of £10,000 to London Capital Credit Union will help bring affordable loans to those in the shadow of the City of London’s financial centre.

Linklaters, a leading global law firm, has made the donation to help spread the word about credit unions and affordable credit. The donation is part of Linklaters’ commitment to making a positive impact on the neighbourhoods they operate in and providing business support to marginalised communities in areas around their offices.

London Capital Credit Union is a not-for-profit co-operative dedicated to promoting saving and dealing with debt. Established in 1962 it provides secure savings and low cost loans for anyone living, working or studying in Barnet, Camden, City of London, Hackney, Haringey or Islington.

Speaking about the donation, Martin Groombridge, Manager at London Capital Credit Union (LCCU), said: “As a community based financial organisation we are always keen to work with others to help bring our services to more people in need of debt advice and affordable credit.

“We will be using this donation to promote the credit union to many more people in the communities in which we operate, helping to bring affordable financial services to those who need them and keeping people out of the clutches of payday lenders and loan sharks.”

Matt Sparkes, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility at Linklaters, said: “As a Living Wage employer, we recognise the importance of ensuring all of our people can maintain a good quality of life. Our investment in LCCU strengthens this commitment by enabling them and others to borrow at fair rates and with a lender who is focused on their wellbeing. We would urge other businesses to also show that they want the best for local people and so invest in this important initiative.”

To find out more about becoming a member of London Capital Credit Union, please visit www.credit-union.coop