You can see the full report from the Fairbanking Foundation, called "Save as you borrow" here
Stockport Credit Union and Transforming Lives Together invite all Stockport church members to an event "Financial Wellbeing in Stockport" to learn about the early results of a Just Finance Network pilot project, and the work of Stockport Credit Union locally. Please ring us to book your free ticket/s (0161 430 5808). Refreshments provided at 12.
Last year our members saved £38,000 in Xmas Saver accounts, which are "locked" until November. Rather than vouchers they saved cash and received cash back, just at the right time to get all their Christmas presents and supplies. If you'd like to be fully prepared for Christmas start saving now. You won't miss a small amount each week or month, but in November you'll be so glad you did it! Download a leaflet and application form here. If you are a new member you also need to fill in a new member application form and bring it along with some ID and £2.20 to a collection point. All details are on the form. If you work for one of the Employer Partners listed on our Employers page you can save direct out of your salary each month. Start now, and enjoy the best Christmas ever in 2017!
November 2016: Our members have saved a record £38,000 into XmasSaver accounts during 2016. Those who saved up and planned ahead are now out spending on food, presents and treats for Christmas. Well done to all of them!
The amount members have saved ahead of Christmas has been steadily rising - from £11,000 in 2014 and £28,000 in 2015 to this year's record amount.
Our Xmas Saver account is "locked" from January 1st to November 1st, so members can resist the temptation to spend it early. If you'd like to save for Christmas 2017, contact us on 0161 430 5808!
October 2016: We really enjoyed meeting you all on 22nd September! Your feedback is currently being assessed, and we are starting by looking at how to improve the collection point at First House and we would welcome any further comments.
Our 1st prize draw winner is member 6642 who received £25 cash, and our 2nd prize draw winner is also member 6642 who received a box of biscuits and a piggy bank - yes, they won both draws!
To win the 2nd prize they had to guess the amount of interest charged on a £250 credit union loan (£40.08) compared to the same amount of interest charged by a doorstep lender (£205). The winner guessed £173 which was the nearest amount to the correct answer of £165 saved in interest by using the credit union.
Our 3rd prize draw was to introduce a friend, relative or neighbour to open a savings account with a chance to win £10 each. The draw was won by Jason Gowans who introduced Charmera Smith Jones - in fact Jason introduced 7 new members! Thank you to everyone who introduced a new member - even if you didn't win the £10 draw you are helping that person with their first steps to building a nest egg for life!Things members learned from the "Meet up" were:
If you have any other questions, or want to arrange a private discussion of your finances with the credit union - just get in touch!
Sept 2016: We all know that people who are struggling with finances are likely to be under a phenomenal amount of stress. We know that such stress can lead to family problems and in some cases mental health issues through worry. Our priority is helping our members alleviate some of the financial burdens.
Stockport Credit Union can offer loans to those who qualify, we listen to your needs and we will help whenever possible. Our rates are more affordable than some other lenders, and we work things out with you, particularly if you feel that expensive borrowing such as payday loans, doorstep loans or even loan sharks seem to be your only option. Our mission is to provide an alternative, or assist you with getting yourselves back on track through manageable means.
We are partnering with all employers in Stockport so that if you are working, you can pay directly into the credit union, both to save and to borrow money. This may allow you to have your loan approved quicker by repaying direct from your salary.
From your employer's perspective helping employees to manage their finances and reduce financial worries can save them from unscheduled employee absences caused by financial stress.
Why not ask your employer to join as an employee partner? It doesn't cost them anything, they just have to collect your contribution every month and send it across to us at the credit union for safe-keeping. They won't know if the contribution is for savings or to include a loan payment - it's all confidential.
Give it a go - ask your employer today - this can benefit both them and their employees.
Lesley Kay, Chair of Financial Operations
July 2016: Volunteering can bring so many positive benefits both to the organisation you're volunteering for and to the volunteers themselves.
Credit Union Directors are all volunteers. We delegate the day to day running of the organisation to the paid staff but we are ultimately responsible for the credit union and what it does. We take decisions about the future direction and focus of the credit union and work as a team to meet our objectives.
The board of Stockport Credit Union is a mixed team. We have people of different ages, genders, backgrounds and talents. We meet as a board once a month on a Tuesday evening and most of us have other duties outside the main board meeting, for example we might be involved in the recruitment of new staff or the preparation of financial reports.
Volunteering as a board member is a great way to use the skills and experience you have built up over the years or to take a rung on the Non-Executive Director ladder.
We're looking to strengthen our board by appointing a couple of new directors. Take a look at our advert for new Directors and please do consider applying. We would particularly like to hear from you if you have experience or expertise in Risk Management, Strategy & Business Planning, and Treasury & Financial Management.Lisa Smart, Director
July 2016: Back in February I attended my first Annual General Meeting of Stockport Credit Union. Having joined the Board in April last year, I had already learnt a lot about what went on in First House, but had not had the opportunity to meet many members. It was good to see how many of you turned out, and how much support you show for the aims of the credit union.
From a governance viewpoint, it is usually very good when the membership collectively challenges decisions made by the Board. The Board has the role of running the business on behalf of the members, and steering a path in accordance with the Rules of the Credit Union and the requirements of the regulators. It does need to keep in touch with what members want their credit union to do and to be, and the membership expressed some views very clearly at February's meeting.
My professional background is in Life Assurance, and for the past six years I have been a Director at the Rechabite Friendly Society, based in Bury. A friendly society is to a certain extent the life insurance equivalent of a credit union, owned by members and (initially) run by members. As regulation became more and more complex, the Boards of friendly societies are now filled mainly with professional staff, rather than members, and I regret that we now have little direct contact with our members, with only a handful coming to our AGM. So I would encourage all Stockport Credit Union members to attend their AGM, to keep that strong link between themselves and the Board, and to ensure that your Credit Union continues to work in the way which you want it to.Steven Kelly, Board Secretary
June 2016: The weather was pretty bad, but we stuck it out and the party was great.
June 2016: Co-operatives UK has just published some research on what is happening in the co-operative sector.
17.5m people are now members of co-operatives, and some of the UK's best-known companies are co-operatives, such as John Lewis, The Co-op and Arla Foods. This means they are owned by their employees or members, not shareholders.
Co-operatives UK found that 68% of all workers and 75% of part time workers want more influence at work - working for a co-operative is one way to achieve this. They also found that co-operatives have a social conscience - they pay their taxes and contribute to local communities. Last year the five largest co-ops paid over 50% more tax to the government than some of the largest and most high profile businesses operating in the UK - £82m compared with the £52m that Amazon, Facebook, Apple, eBay and Starbucks paid in tax.
The report covers examples of co-operatives in agriculture, work, social care and energy - it's well worth a read hereJulie Abbott, Development Group
May 2016: Great news from Google this week, as they take a stand against payday lenders by refusing to accept any advertising from those companies from July 13, 2016. Google said: "We will no longer allow ads for loans where repayment is due within 60 days of the date of issue". Rules must allow them to do more in the US, as there Google are also "banning ads for loans with an APR of 36% or higher."
The reason given was that "When reviewing our policies, research has shown that these loans can result in unaffordable payment and high default rates for users".
Absolutely! Credit Unions are lenders with an ethical foundation, lending money at affordable interest rates and encouraging people to save - the exact opposite of payday lenders. We watched the rise of payday lenders in increasing despair, and are delighted at the recent measures taken by Google and others to limit their reach.
If you are looking at borrowing from payday lenders, talk to your local credit union first. The rates will be more realistic and you will not be offered unaffordable loans.
Google's comments are here:Julie Abbott, Development Group
March 2016: Although we are pleased with the progress we have made, Stockport Credit Union sometimes struggles to gain exposure. And yet,in an era of predatory payday loan companies with their large marketing budgets and the decline of the Building Society Sector, we are more important than ever.
Not many things improve people's life chances as much as having access to 'rainy day' money. Few things can so easily reduce a person's chances of health, happiness and prosperity as its absence.
The slide into problem debt and poverty can be quick and brutal. It can break up families, lead to physical and mental health problems and pave the best way to desperation crime. The impact on well-being goes far beyond its economic consequences, but by that yardstick alone, the costs to society in terms of increased welfare costs and reduced productivity are estimated by accountants Baker Tilly at over £8 billion per annum.
Seven million households in this country have less than £1000 in savings. More than half all savings accounts have less than £10 in them. Many people live from hand to mouth with no buffer to cushion a shock whether this is a broken boiler, a lost job, illness or injury.About two and a half million people are reckoned to be mired in unmanageable debt. Half a million could have avoided this fate if they had had access to just £1000 according to research by Stepchange, a debt counselling charity. The need for rainy day money is greater than ever today. More than four million people are self employed. Three quarters of a million are on zero hours contracts.
Total consumer credit is now £170 billion and growing. Debt has become normalised and ubiquitous; no more so than in the dispiriting TV commercials from payday loan companies.
People need Credit Unions.Mike Pole, Chair of Development Group
Feb 2016: Over the coming months, you will be hearing from people who volunteer or work for Stockport Credit Union (SCU). In their different ways, and using their own particular skills, talents and experience, they make sure that SCU provides a reliable, ethical service for all its members. I'm looking forward to hearing their stories about how they got involved with the credit union, and why it's important to them.
I first became involved with credit unions when it was part of my job with the Council to support a great group of people who launched Offerton Credit Union in 1995. Then in 2005 when the regulation of credit unions passed to the FSA, Offerton joined the three other community credit unions and formed Stockport Credit Union.
I believe that credit unions are more important than ever. They are unique financial organisations that lend money in a responsible way. Any 'surplus' is paid back to members in the form of dividends, not to a faceless investor who has no connection or interest in Stockport. Credit unions keep members' money local. The vast majority of people who work for SCU are volunteers, including the Board of Directors, who give their time because they believe in credit unions.
Members are at the heart of everything we do - this is one of the things that make us different from other banks.
If you have any questions, please contact us.Karen Kime, Chair