save. borrow. invest. safely. locally.
Credit Unions have no shareholders - they are mutual organisations, or co-operatives, meaning they are not-for-profit. They are owned by the members, with one vote each, and because there are no external shareholders taking profits, the money stays within the community, strengthening the organisation for the benefit of the members.
While each credit union operates as a separate organisation, there is a common belief that all people have the right to affordable and accessible financial services. Credit Unions in Britain vary in size, services and membership but most have a strong connection with their local community meaning that they work closely with a number of community groups and organisations to improve the lives of people living within the local area.
In Ireland, over 70% of the population are members of a credit union. In the United States of America and Canada, that number stands at around 43%, while more than 1 in 5 people in Glasgow have made the decision to join a credit union. With over 200,000,000 members accross 101 countries the movement is going from strength to strength.
In Wales, the total membership stands at around 73,000 with that likely to increase significantly with strong support from within both Westminister and Cardiff governments as well as at a local level. Here in Bridgend, we hope to continue our own development - ensuring the provision of low cost and ethical financial services to everyone living or working in our local community.
Figures correct for 2012. For more information on these stastistics, please visit the website for the World Council of Credit Unions at www.woccu.org