Tag 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.

Credit union calls for volunteers

London Capital Credit Union is looking for volunteers to help deal with the ever increasing number of member enquiries.

Volunteering graphic

The credit union is a not for profit savings and loans co-operative based near Archway tube station in London, which is dedicated to encouraging people to save rather than borrow, while also providing low cost loans when needed. They are looking for additional volunteers to help their busy team assist with enquiries from members.

Volunteers need to have certain skills and capabilities, including being good with numbers, competent in basic spoken English, honest, reliable, friendly and outgoing. In return, the credit union will provide experience and training including in customer service, effective telephone use, using computers and different software packages and effective office management.

Volunteering with the credit union can provide many benefits, including a ‘feel good factor’ of knowing you are helping people, excellent work experience in financial services, experience of working in a busy commercial environment and access to training and improved employment opportunities.

Martin Groombridge, London Capital Credit Union Chief Executive, said: “As a financial co-operative, which is owned and run by our members, the credit union relies on the support and dedication of a team of volunteers working alongside our small staff of paid employees. A number of additional volunteers are now being sought to assist with the increase in our business as we help more and more people manage their money.

“Although the positions are unpaid, they offer several benefits, including meeting new people and making friends while working in a supportive and friendly team, gaining direct experience of the financial services industry, strengthening your CV and helping to benefit the community.”

To find out more about volunteering with the credit union click here, or call them on 020 7561 1786 for an informal, no obligation discussion.

London Capital Credit Union reports record growth

Members who went along to London Capital Credit Union’s AGM heard how the credit union has continued to grow rapidly and that 2015-16 was another record year.

LCCU logoIn the financial year 2015-16, the credit union’s membership increased by 19%, savings by 22% and loan balances by a huge 30%.

The AGM, which was held at the UNISON Centre in London on 2 February, saw a fantastic turnout of 148 members who found out how their credit union had performed over the past year and its plans for the future. At the meeting, members agreed an increase in the credit union loan interest rebate and Young Savers Account interest from 0.75% to 1% while maintaining dividend on savings at 0.75%.

Helen Baron, Director and President of London Capital Credit Union, said: “London Capital Credit Union is one of the fastest growing credit unions in Britain. We now have some 15,000 members who between them have more than £10 million in savings. In 2015-16 we gave out over 5,700 loans to a value of nearly £8 million.

“The last twelve months or so have been very exciting for the credit union as we work to meet our social goals as well as providing fair and affordable financial services. We were one of the first financial institutions in the UK to sign up to the Women in Finance Charter; we became an accredited London Living Wage employer and the Fairbanking Foundation charity awarded its first 5 star mark to us for our ‘Saver Loan’ and ‘Instant Saver Loan’ products.

“We continue to focus on providing first class customer service and our annual member survey continues to show high levels of overall member satisfaction. This is borne out by the fact that much of our growth comes through personal recommendation.

“We look forward to continuing to offer a range of fair and flexible financial solutions which meet the needs of all members of our community – whether that is loans provided at a reasonable rate of interest, the promotion of thrift through the accumulation of savings or education in the wise use of money.”

London Capital Credit Union was established in 1962, and provides services for anyone living, working or studying in Barnet, Camden, City of London, Hackney, Haringey or Islington, as well as any member of Unite the Union or UNISON in Greater London, any member of The Co-operative Group South East Region and the employees of many other local and national organisations.

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.

Haringey resident says join your credit union to support your community

A member of London Capital Credit Union is calling on Haringey residents to join their local credit union to help strengthen the local community.

Sue Hoyle“Unlike high street banks, credit unions are owned by local people and work for their best interests,” says Sue Hoyle.

Sue, a former care worker, has been a member of London Capital Credit Union for 20 years and says that credit unions are such a good idea that more people should know about them.

“I believe passionately in our local community and debt is a serious issue for many people. Credit unions can be part of the solution as they keep more of the money in the local community with local people.”

Credit unions work by offering loans on affordable terms to local members and the interest raised is then made available to lend to more people locally.

“I joined London Capital Credit Union to get a loan and thanks to the way the loan was structured, I was saving at the same time as paying the loan back.”

Encouraging saving and greater financial awareness is key to the way credit unions work. Says Sue, “I had a 0% transfer credit card some years back and paid back the minimum balance by standing order each month, but basically it was like giving them money for nothing as I was mainly paying off interest, so I used my credit union loan to pay off the credit card.”

Over the years Sue says she has saved a fair amount of interest by using the credit union and has used the savings to pay for car repairs and even a holiday.

“I am just one person,” says Sue, “but, across Haringey, local people have saved over £2.9 million in loan repayments by being members of the credit union. That’s something to shout about.”

Credit union calls for volunteers to help with soaring demand

LCCU logoLondon Capital Credit Union in Islington is looking for volunteers in the run up to Christmas as it deals with rocketing demand for its services. The credit union saw its membership increase by 10% in September alone.

This follows a recent call by Sir Hector Sants, the former Chief Executive of the Financial Services Authority, who now heads up the Church of England’s taskforce on credit unions, asking people with a professional background to consider volunteering for a credit union or standing for election to the board, in order that credit unions can benefit from a wide range of expertise and ability.

Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union, says: “We are experiencing a high level of demand for our services at the moment, and this is likely to increase further in the run up to Christmas – our busiest time of year. So we are looking for people with a wide range of skills to donate some of their time to help us.”

As financial co-operatives, credit unions are owned and controlled by their members and rely on local volunteers to help deliver their services to the community.

“Our volunteers get involved with the day-to-day running of the credit union,” explains Martin Groombridge. “Duties include customer services, handling phone enquiries, processing membership applications, helping to maintain our database and working on marketing materials.”

Sir Hector also called for more people to deposit money with a credit union – money which can then be lent out at an affordable rate of interest to help those in need. Those who save with a credit union then qualify for a share in the profits of the credit union in the form of an annual dividend.

Sir Hector’s comments came as the Church of England rolls out its programme to provide financial support through its new Credit Champions network across 2,000 churches. The initiative encourages church congregations to promote saving as an alternative to borrowing and to raise awareness of the role of credit unions in providing low cost loans in times of need. London Capital Credit Union is working with a number of churches across North London as part of the scheme.

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.

New scheme helps schoolchildren save

Martin Groombridge

Martin Groombridge

Hundreds of secondary school starters in Haringey have a opened a free £20 credit union savings account as part of a landmark financial awareness scheme by Haringey Council.

Application packs have been sent to nearly 3,000 Haringey pupils starting Year 7 this term for a School Savers account with London Capital Credit Union, with nearly 200 students already signing up.

The council-funded scheme, the first of its kind in England, is designed to encourage children to get into the savings habit and promote alternatives to unscrupulous payday loan companies.

Accompanied by financial management lessons in schools, accounts are ‘locked in’ for two years, with students and their parents encouraged to add to their savings where possible.

Councillor Joe Goldberg, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Social Inclusion and Sustainability, said: “We want our children to be given every opportunity to learn about money and the different financial options available as they grow up.

“Giving every Year 7 child an account with a responsible credit union will give them a chance to start saving early on in life and understand the alternatives to the scourge of legal loan sharks colonising our high streets.”

Haringey Council has provided £750,000 in loans to the credit union in the last two years, which has more than 3,000 members in the borough – and the fastest growing contingent of anywhere in London.

The credit union – a co-operative that is owned and controlled by its members – has issued affordable loans worth almost £1 million since October 2012 and holds more than £1 million in savings from Haringey residents.

Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Haringey Council in this way to encourage children to learn the importance of saving and budgeting.

“This monetary incentive is a fantastic way to get Haringey children to open savings accounts and for their families to benefit from the services of the credit union.”

Every Year 7 child who lives in Haringey or attends a school in the borough is eligible for an account, which can be opened by simply returning the application form sent to all pupils.

For more information and to download a copy of the application pack, visit www.haringey.gov.uk/creditunion. To find out more about London Capital Credit Union visit www.credit-union.coop.