Keep up to date with developments at London Mutual Credit Union by checking in regularly to our Latest News page. With reports on new branches, technological advances, civil awards and famous faces, we will keep you fully informed with what's happening at LMCU. For Archive News please click here and to see our Photo Gallery please click here.

MARCH 2016 - New branch in Southwark

Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, was the guest of honour at the opening of a new credit union branch in Walworth Road, Southwark, on Thursday 3rd March.

The new London Mutual Credit Union branch is equipped with its own ATM service, five spacious counters and an iPad stand where members can join the credit union, apply for low cost loans and carry out other online transactions.

Located in a busy high street, close to public transport links, the new credit union branch offers local people easy access to fair and affordable financial services.

Tom Watson MP said: “I am delighted to attend the opening of this impressive new London Mutual Credit Union branch in Southwark. Credit unions have a vital role to play in providing great value loans and savings to those who may otherwise be excluded from mainstream financial services.

“Located in the heart of the communities they serve, credit unions are ideally placed not only to provide access to ethical finance, but also to help people manage their money better, keeping them out of the clutches of loan sharks and high interest payday lenders.”

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Financial Inclusion at Southwark Council, said: “This new service will be a brilliant alternative to payday lenders for local people, and is a great example of the community, the council and the credit union working together to bring about important local support that people want and need.”

Lucky Chandrasekera, Chief Executive of London Mutual Credit Union, added: “We are very happy to open this modern and spacious credit union branch for our members. The new premises provide London Mutual Credit Union with the additional facilities we need to handle the requirements of our ever growing membership and we look forward to welcoming existing and new members.”

A credit union is a financial co-operative which provides savings, loans and a range of services to its members. Credit unions share the co-operative ethos of people helping people, and because they are owned by their own users, and not by external shareholders or investors, the emphasis is always on providing the best service to members, not maximising profits from them.

The new branch of London Mutual Credit Union is at 177 Walworth Road, Southwark SE17 1RW.

OCTOBER 2015 - Launch of Credit Union Services for the British Armed Forces

15th October 2015 marks the launch of the provision of Credit Union Services for the British Armed Forces by the London Mutual Credit Union. London Mutual Credit Union is one of three credit unions in Britain selected by the Ministry of Defence to help Armed Forces personnel to save with and pay off loans from a credit union directly from their salary or pension.

Significantly, in conjunction with this important event, Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC has joined London Mutual Credit Union and thus becomes one of our first members to join through the new scheme.

In 2005, Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC was awarded the Victoria Cross for twice saving members of his unit, the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, from ambushes.

Johnson Beharry VC said: "I am pleased to join London Mutual Credit Union and I look forward to spreading the word about this new scheme for military personnel. It is often difficult for people in the armed forces to gain access to financial services, especially those serving overseas who have little or no way of getting credit in the UK. By joining a credit union, armed forces personnel will be able to access affordable loans when they need them and to plan for the future by saving directly from their pay packets through payroll deduction."

Lucky Chandrasekera, Chief Executive of London Mutual Credit Union, said: "We are delighted to be offering credit union services to the British Armed Forces and we are happy to welcome Johnson Beharry VC as one of our first members through the new scheme. We look forward to helping many military personnel benefit from safe savings and affordable loans."

The credit union scheme is open to all serving members of the British Armed Forces, those receiving a pension as a result of being employed as a member of the British Armed Forces and serving members of the Reserves.

For more details about this facility, please click here.

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SEPTEMBER 2015 - New lower-priced loan products

LMCU is pleased to announce that it has launched 2 new loan products for London Mutual Credit Union members who are in full-time employment.

Available in two variants, Gold and Platinum, loans are being offered from £5000 to £15000. Successful applicants can borrow at 5.9% with a gold loan and at 6.9% with a platinum loan, over a term lasting 6 months to 60 months.

Please see our loans page for further details on criteria and how to apply.

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JULY 2015 - New Lost & Stolen phone number

Please note that the lost and stolen phone number has now changed to 0345 603 8702.

Calls to 0345 numbers cost the same as a call to a standard "01" or "02" landline number, even when calling from a mobile. Calls to an 0345 number are also included in any bundled minutes or free talk time that cavers landline calls. Where calls are made outside of a bundle you will be charged at local rate to ring 0345 number.

For more information on the actual cost you will be charged, please contact your phone provider.

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JULY 2015 - New compensation limits

The FSCS deposit protection limit is changing from 1 January 2016 to £75,000. Deposits currently eligible for £85,000 compensation will remain protected up until 31 December 2015 to allow customers to reduce their balances if necessary. From 1 January 2016 the new limit of £75,000 will apply. For further information please visit the FSCS website.

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JULY 2015 - Visitors from Kenyan Credit Unions

LMCU welcomed a delegation of 34 credit union professionals from Kenya. As at December 2014, Kenya has got 4,965 credit unions with 5,103,231. Over 20% of the Kenyan population are now a member of a credit union.

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MAY 2015 - Southwark Smart Savers scheme

We are happy to share some more lovely news. A new initiative by the Southwark Council gives every 11 year old child who lives in Southwark a voucher worth £10 to open a savings account at London Mutual Credit Union. We believe that this monetary incentive is being provided at a critical stage, as they prepare for secondary school, and this lays the groundwork as they eventually become adult members of the Credit Union and be able to access a wider range of financial services. Every child in Southwark will have the same opportunity to save and be part of the alternative banking movement. We hope that they will be able to sustain their credit union membership and thus contribute to the social, local and ethical ideals that guide savings & loans co-operatives.

Southwark Smart Savers has been designed to help young people to save and teach them about responsible financial behaviour including experience of money matters, budgeting, saving and handling cash; giving them the tools to manage their money well into adulthood. Scheme details and terms and conditions can be found here. The vouchers are valid till the end of November 2015 and upon redemption of the voucher you also enter a prize draw that could win you an iPad!

While the emphasis is largely on savings, we also want to provide a wholesome banking experience even at this young age- young savers can come to their nearest branch (accompanied by Trustee)and make their own withdrawals. Please go to our Young Savers page to know more about how to save once the YSA (Young Saver account) has been set up. We are confident that this scheme will have a big impact on children and lead to positive habits related to planning and goal setting, as they prepare to become economically active contributors to the society.

We currently have more than 1700 Young Savers and this scheme has the potential to increase Young Savers at London Mutual to more than 5000!! We urge all parents and guardians of 11 year olds in Southwark to seize this opportunity and open your child’s savings account as soon as possible.

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DECEMBER 2014 - Yesterday LMCU was visited by none other than Santa himself!

Fifty people from the St Mary, Primrose Hill Church signed up to become a member of the LMCU. Santa brought the membership applications to the LMCU.

Tony Das, the manager at the our Kentish Town branch, explained what credit unions are about and that that they provide most of the same services as a bank, allowing people to both save and borrow money with the same security. He said: "We provide services for the unemployed, low paid, well paid, the retired... we have current accounts, we have junior accounts where we pay 5 per cent interest, savings and loans for different purposes."

David Barclay, the coordinator of the Church Credit Champions Network, also came to show his support on the day said "I have joined my local union and am safe in the knowledge that my money is being used for something good."

It was a great day, and both the Financial Times and Camden New Journal came to cover the event!

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NOVEMBER 2014 - London Mutual Credit Union featured in the Guardian News

London Mutual Credit Union was featured in the Guardian News online today talking about how The Duchess of Cornwall has an account with us!

Camilla was eligible to join London Mutual Credit Union because Clarence House is in the City of Westminster which is one of our catchment boroughs, and her spokeswoman says: “She uses the account to support local community projects.” The article discusses how credit unions are gaining popularity amongst those from all incomes, not just the less well off and mentions how Labour leader Ed Miliband joined LMCU in October 2013.

Read more from the article here

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OCTOBER 2014 - 135 New church members

Here is the moment on Monday 27th October that the Reverend handed over 135 new member applications to the LMCU from the South London Citizens! Fantastic news!

A group of Peckham residents brought the applications to LMCU to highlight the services offered by our local credit union as an alternative to payday lenders. This event was a joint venture by South London Citizens, Copleston, a church and community centre in Peckham, and the Church Credit Champions Network.

This is the kind of action we're hoping church across London and the country can take to boost the local ethical finance sector.

Take a look at Lucky Chandrasekera, London Mutual Credit Union chief executive talking about the effort on BBC London.

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JUNE 2014 - LMCU received a delegation from the Georgian credit unions USA

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NOVEMBER 2013 - Palace of Westminster staff can now join LMCU

Agreements with the Parliamentary authorities mean that anyone working in the Palace of Westminster can now join London Mutual Credit Union and save or repay loans direct from their wages. The initiative was launched on the 25th November 2013 at an event in Parliament hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions and London Mutual Credit Union. Money saving expert Martin Lewis spoke at the launch and also became a member of the credit union.

Martin Lewis from Moneysaving Expert has also joined the LMCU said: "With the growth scourge of payday lending across the UK – credit unions are a viable, cheaper, non-profit local alternative and should be encouraged. Therefore today I hope to be excited at the launch event to see senior MPs and even Government Ministers giving the London Mutual their backing by joining up and making use of the deduction facility. It'll be interesting to see who puts their money where their mouth is"

Damian Hinds MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions, said: "I am delighted to see London Mutual Credit Union extend its services to all of those working in and around Parliament. Partnering with employers and payroll deduction arrangements can have enormous benefits for credit union development while providing a valuable financial service to workers and employers."

Lord Kennedy of Southwark, a Vice Chair of the APPG on Credit Unions, said: "In extending to Parliamentarians and Parliamentary staff, London Mutual will ensure that even more people can benefit from their excellent, affordable and ethical services both in Parliament and in the wider community. And I hope that in making personal use of London Mutual, many more MPs will be persuaded of the great value that credit unions generate for their members and society."

Lucky Chandrasekera, London Mutual Credit Union chief executive, said: "It is fantastic to be launching our Parliamentary service today which is a goal we set ourselves some years ago. We hope by launching this service for Parliament that we can demonstrate the value of credit union membership on a daily basis to MPs and the wider Parliamentary staff. We have a range of competitive products and services for Parliament to take advantage of."

ABCUL Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said: "The value of payroll deduction is not to be underestimated for all parties concerned. This high profile addition to employers offering this service is very welcome. The vast majority of large employers in the US – including the White House, Congress and Senate – offer this facility to their staff and I hope that many more will follow this example and talk to their local credit union about how they can help their employees access convenient financial services through payroll."

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OCTOBER 2013 - Labour Leader Ed Miliband joins LMCU

We are pleased to announce that the Labour Leader Ed Miliband has joined the LMCU on 17th October 2013.

We also welcomed the Bishop of Southwark Rt Revd Christopher Chessun who also has joined the LMCU to show his support for the credit unions.

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OCTOBER 2013 - Launch of our brand new mobile apps

We are thrilled to announce that our brand new Mobile Apps are ready for you to download. All apps are now free to download and easy to use, 24 hours a day. Now you could keep a track of your finances on the go 24 x 7 x 365.

What you can do using Mobile Banking Apps

  • You can view balance information for your London Mutual Credit Union Savings, Current, Loan and Cash ISA accounts
  • View last 20 account transactions
  • Transfer money between your credit union accounts
  • Apply for a revolving loan, provided that you are already being setup for this facility
  • Request to make payments to external bank accounts. Please note that the transfers to the external bank accounts are processed manually by the credit union staff and may take up to 48 hours to complete the transaction.
  • Send secure messages and requests to various LMCU Departments
  • Request statements to be either posted or emailed to you
  • Request your login details to be changed
  • Request to make payments to external bank accounts. Please note that the transfers to the external bank accounts are processed manually by the credit union staff during the normal office opening hours and may take up to 48 hours to complete the transaction
  • Note: Credit Union Current Account balances could be up to one WORKING day behind. [Weekends and bank holiday may be up to 3 days behind]

Find more about the mobile app here

How to download the app

If you are an iPhone and/or iPad user, you can download the app from the Apple “App Store”. Simply search the app by “LMCU” to install. Alternatively, click here:

  • iPhone:

  • iPad:

  • Android:

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JULY 2013 - Opening of the Camden Branch

We are pleased to inform that on Thursday 25th July 2013, London Mutual Credit Union (LMCU) has opened its 5th branch office in Camden. The opening ceremony was attended by number of guests. Our guest of honor was the Leader of the London Borough of Camden, Councillor Sarah Hayward.

Speaking at the opening Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council said: "In times where many families are really struggling financially, the Council wants to provide local residents with access to affordable credit, often when other lenders have turned them down." "This credit often provides for one off expenses like replacing a broken washing machine and it helps people who have nowhere else to turn other than to legal or illegal loan sharks who charge exorbitant interest and often plunge people in to inescapable debt."

LMCU which operates in Southwark, Lambeth, and Westminster and now Camden is the largest community Credit Union in London serving over 19,000 members. Credit Unions are not for profit co-operatives providing alternative financial services to the communities they serve.

Councillor Hayward continued: “Credit Unions, not only provide affordable credit, they keep money in the local economy and help everyone in the community they serve. I’m delighted LMCU have expanded their service to the people of this borough.

Lakshman Chandrasekera, Chief executive, Camden’s LMCU branch, said: "We are delighted to be working with Camden Council to provide financial services to the residents in Camden. We have a range of products and services available for everyone and very keen to extend our branch network in Camden in years to come."

Among other attendees were the Directors of the LMCU Heather Crawford (President) Louis McLeod (Treasurer) and Chris Gonde (Director), Fiona Twycross (London Assembly Member) Derik Buckland (ABCUL Board Member), Cllr Mike Katz and Cllr John Bryant of Camden Council and number of senior managers of the Camden Council and other guests.

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JUNE 2013 - Merger with Camden Plus Credit Union

London Mutual Credit Union (LMCU) is pleased to announce a merger with the Camden Plus Credit Union (CPCU) and as from 1st June 2013 everyone who lives or works in the London Borough of Camden will have access to our range of products and services.

Due to financial challenges that it was experiencing, CPCU would have been unable to continue its operations and would have had to be closed down. However support from Camden Council means that credit union services will still be available for the benefit of residents under LMCU.

Over the past 13 years LMCU has helped six credit unions in London in similar situations and is now providing services to all those who live or work in the London Boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth, Westminster and Camden.

Established in 1982, LMCU is the largest community credit union in London providing services to over 17,000 members, operating from six branch offices and spread over four local authorities; Southwark, Lambeth, Westminster and Camden.

Our Camden branch at 347 Royal College Street, London, NW1 9QS will be open from Monday to Friday - 9.30am to 4.30pm, where members will have access to their accounts. Camden members will also be able to access our comprehensive online services, where they can apply for loans, request fund transfers, become a member, open a current account, view account balances and transactions and many more. Members can now also check their account balances using our SMS balance enquiry system.

1997 King's College Hospital Credit Union
2000 Borough & Bermondsey Credit Union
2001 Camberwell Credit Union
2010 Lambeth Savings & Credit Union
2012 Pimlico Credit Union
2013 Camden Plus Credit Union

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MAY 2013 - Minister for Welfare Reform David Freud

The Minister for Welfare Reform David Freud showed his support for credit unions by applying to open an account at London Mutual Credit Union on Wednesday (22May).

Lord Freud spoke to staff and members at the credit union's Peckham branch about the Government’s support for credit unions and their work to provide people on low incomes with access to banking products, low interest loans and advice.

He said: "Many credit unions offer a range of financial services like current and savings accounts, often with better rates than high street banks. They also play a vital role in offering people an alternative to the dangers of loan sharks and high-interest loans.

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MAY 2013 - London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross

London Assembly Member Fiona Twycross joined London Mutual Credit Union in May 2013.Fiona’s Committee work at the Greater London Authority – she is currently leading an investigation in to the issues of food poverty in London on behalf of the London Assembly’s Health Committee – gives her a good insight into the problems facing many Londoners.

We are delighted to welcome her as a member and this is what she had to say about the credit union: ‘London Mutual does great work ensuring that local people have ethical financial products available to them including low interest pay day loans and competitive ISAs. It was exciting to hear about what they do and the new products they are planning for the future. In a few years’ time credit unions should have put the high interest lenders out of business and everyone joining credit unions and using their services will help this happen.’

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MAY 2013 - Duchess of Cornwall visit

The Duchess of Cornwall who often supports organisations that offer practical help in their communities has decided to join a credit union.The Duchess wants to highlight the practical help that credit unions offer their communities in these difficult economic times. Her Royal Highness is applying to join the London Mutual Credit Union in Peckham where she will have access to its financial services. The London Mutual Credit Union aims to teach members how to save around £20 to £40 each week.

On her first visit to the Peckham branch today, The Duchess praised its services and said: "I think everybody needs that bit of help to show them how it's done. That personal touch just makes a difference." The non-profit organisation is one of London's largest and provides services to anyone who live or works in the Southwark, Lambeth, Westminster and Camden boroughs. It runs by lending out its members' savings and encourages customers to take control of their money and only borrow amounts they can afford to repay.

LMCU will be the first credit union The Duchess has joined, although she has visited five others in the past three years, and is eligible as a Borough of Westminster resident.She said: "It's very important to get the word out and tell people about it. It is just raising awareness. Probably like many other people I didn't know much about it."

Over the last few years Her Royal Highness has visited a number of Credit Unions across the country to learn more about the invaluable work of these 'co-operative style' banks.During her visit, The Duchess spoke to a number of LMCU members who have been helped by the scheme.

Wendy Powell, 67, was at the branch with her daughter Clare, 32, who is already a member.She said: "I told Camilla I was just here with my daughter but that I was thinking of joining and she said she would as well. I said she should get behind me in the queue."

Louis McLeod, treasurer of LMCU, said: "When you join you're given a share account and encourage to save on a regular basis. You also have access to various perks that are invaluable in a credit union current account. You also have access to the Isa account." The Duchess would save dividends like any other member on her regular share account and if she did make an Isa account she would get 3% interest."She would be able to take advantage of both the traditional share account and also the Isa account and the current account."

Lucky Chandrasekera, chief executive of LMCU, said the credit union is trying to attract more affluent members.He said: "If everyone is unemployed and can't save money you don't have money to give, so you need affluent people as well."We are working on introducing mortgages and we have just finished testing the iPhone app so it's for the younger generation, so we are working on that."

LMCU became the first British credit union to offer a pay day loan last year and now has more than 16,000 members.The payday loans normally used by people in "crisis" situations which have 28.6%APR interest rates compared with other lenders who can charge up to 4000% APR.

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MARCH 2013 - Dedication recognised

We would like to congratulate Leanne Phillips, an employee of London Mutual Credit Union (LMCU), who has been awarded the Association of British Credit Union's (ABCUL) Tracy Slane award for 2013.

Tracy Slane served as the ABCUL Conference Officer until her untimely death in September 2004 at the age of 25. This award is intended to recognise her achievements and act as an inspiration to other young people, and gives credit unions the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution young people make to the credit union movement and the achievements of those employees and volunteers who during the course of their work have displayed special qualities, enthusiasm and commitment.

Leanne Phillips works in the Loan Department of LMCU and has been instrumental in the development of the Payday Loan product. Mathew Sweetlove, her Manager, said Leanne's dedication and commitment to the CUOK! payday loan development exceeded all expectations; she is an inspiration to all of us at the LMCU and I would personally like to thank Leanne for her continued hard work and excellence during her time with us."

ABCUL commented "All the finalists this year were of an extremely high standard. However, the Board felt that your personal commitment and dedication to the credit union movement and the progression of your own credit union should be recognised by awarding you the Tracy Slane: Young Persons Award at the ABCUL Annual Conference."

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FEBRUARY 2013 - Sharing our profits

During the financial year from 1st October 2011 to 30th September 2012, over £110,000 has been returned to London Mutual Credit Union members through a combination of a 1.5% dividend on their membership shares, 5% interest on Junior Savers shares and 3% interest on Cash ISA.

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JANUARY 2013 - Official opening of the New HQ

We are very pleased to announce that our new Head Office was officially opened on 31st January by the Rt Hon Harriet Harman, MP for Camberwell & Peckham, at 4 Heaton Road, Peckham, London SE15 3TH.

Lord Roy Kennedy of Southwark handing over his membership application form to the CEO of LMCU.

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JANUARY 2013 - Credit union success means new premises for members

A new head office for London Mutual Credit Union, jointly owned by 16,000 members, will be opened on Thursday 31st January by Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Rt. Hon. Harriet Harman MP.London Mutual new premises in Peckham have been refurbished to provide an attractive and welcoming place for people to access great value financial services including a Cash ISA that pays 3% AER and an alternative payday loan product that costs a fraction of the rate of commercial providers.

The credit union CUOK loan product offers short term loans over up to 3 months at just 26,8% APR. The new service has drawn nearly 2,000 people away from high cost lenders which may charge up to 4,000 APR since its launch in February 2012. The former social services office was purchased from Southwark Council for £1 million. Its 5,000 square feet houses the credit union branch on the ground floor with office space above.

London Mutual Credit Union Chief Executive Lucky Chandrasekera said: "It is testament to the hard work of our volunteers and staff and the support of our 16,000 members that we have been able to buy our own premises. We have always been at the heart of our community and I am proud that we now have our own base in the centre of Peckham that is owned by our members. It will meet the needs of our expanding staff team as we expand access to many more people and will be a great advertisement to draw people away from the high cost lenders that plague our communities".

Harriet Harman MP said:"With payday loan shops blighting high streets, loan sharks stalking local estates and banks refusing to lend, there has never been a greater need for the excellent services of London Mutual Credit Union. Building on the great work they have done over the years, I am delighted to be opening London Mutual Credit Union's head office in Peckham".

Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive of the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL) said: " It is always great to see credit unions expanding and reaching more people. When a credit union reaches the stage when it can buy its own premises, it is really a cause for celebration. The new building is one that any organisation would be proud of, but it is extra special here because it is through thousands of local people joining together in a credit union that this has been made possible."

Lord Roy Kennedy of Southwark, who is a Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions, will join the credit union at the opening, which will also be attended by the leaders of Southwark and Camden councils – Cllr Peter John and Cllr Sarah Hayward.

Providing ethical financial services since 1982