Building a bank for the whole community—together
We were founded by employees of Southwark Council in 1982. Since then, we’ve had one mission: serving our member communities by providing fair and ethical financial services that are relevant to their needs.
Today, that mission continues. The community we serve (known in law as our ‘common bond’), now covers the heart of Central London. This includes the Boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Camden and Westminster, in addition to all serving members of the UK armed forces and anyone who worships at the New Testament Church of God.
As a credit union, we are owned by our members, not shareholders. Through our community links and partnerships with employers across the Boroughs, we’re working to build a bank that is driven by the needs of our members. We work to support their financial well-being by providing affordable and accessible finance, supporting good financial habits, and contributing to stronger communities across the neighbourhoods we serve.
What makes London Mutual different
We know that face-to-face service remains crucial to many people. At a time when many large banks are shutting their doors, our walk-in branches offer services and advice in Peckham, Walworth Road and Brixton.
We were the first credit union in the UK to offer current accounts, widening access to facilities such as debit cards and direct debits in an increasingly cashless society.
What is a credit union?
London Mutual is part of the global credit union movement, which consists of almost 300 credit unions across the UK, serving over 1.3 million members.
Credit unions are focused on the long-term financial well-being of their members and the wider community.
Credit unions work to make high-quality finance accessible to all, at rates that are realistic and fair.
Credit unions are owned by their members, with day-to-day-running overseen by a board of volunteers drawn from the membership.
Credit unions serve their members by listening to their needs and developing products and services built around them.
"People take out loans for all sorts of different things, such as going on holiday, paying bills, childcare, home improvements, funerals, cars. It all depends on what time of year. We have Christmas loans and in the summer it’s usually holidays"
Lisa Walder, Deputy Branch Manager
A digital bank that leaves no one behind
As banking goes digital, we’re changing with it, using mobile and internet banking technology to deliver our services in a way that makes managing your finances fast, secure and convenient.
And as a credit union, that’s process that will always be driven by our members and their needs. That’s why we’re continually working with members to shape and develop our digital offer, incorporating feedback, suggestions and ideas.
Banking at the heart of our community
Join London Mutual credit union today
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a credit union?
Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned, financial co-operatives that exist for the benefit of a group of members who share a common bond, such as where they work or live.
Our mission is to provide our members with access to reasonably priced financial services and encourage the development of good financial habits such as saving and responsible borrowing.
What's the difference between a credit union and a bank?
The biggest difference between credit unions and banks is the member’s ownership or involvement in the institution. Credit unions are not-for-profit organisations owned by their customers, who are also its members.
As a member and owner, you are given the opportunity to gain greater control over your finances. Most banks are for-profit corporations, with profits paid to their shareholders only.
What does it mean to be a member of the credit union?
As a member of the credit union, you own part of the credit union through your shares. The members own, control, and administer the Society (the credit union). Because you are a member and partial owner, the credit union works for you.
Therefore, as a member of the credit union you will have access to ethical and affordable loans and more financial advice as to which loan product is best for you.
So what does it mean to have savings in the credit union?
This means that not only do you have more control over your money, but also, as a shareholder, you will receive a dividend on your Membership Account whenever the credit union makes a surplus (a profit).
What makes credit unions ethical?
Credit unions work to offer fair, competitive financial services to individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their social status and economic background.
We also believe that borrowing money should be a carefully thought through process, and the way we lend is built around your ability to repay.
Our dedicated employees want to work with you personally to create a repayment plan that best fits your situation.
Who can apply for a loan?
Only the members. As long as you are a member, you can apply via online or complete the paper application at one of our four branch offices.
What is a current account?
A current account is a bank account that allows you to access a range of banking services, such as receiving money (like your salary, pension or benefits payments), paying bills, and setting up direct debits and standing orders to make regular payments.
Our current account can be very useful for anyone looking for an easier, more affordable way to spend and access their funds. Opening a current account provides members with a MasterCard Debit card and allows access to their accounts from over 70,000 Link ATMs across the UK and our MasterCard is widely accepted throughout the world wherever you see the MasterCard sign.
Is my money secure with you?
London Mutual Credit Union, like banks and building societies, is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Savers’ deposits are protected by the same Financial Services Compensation Scheme that covers banks and building societies.
An eligible depositor is entitled to claim up to £85,000.
How are you able to offer such affordable rates?
Credit unions do not have shareholders to pay, as our members are our shareholders. By law, the maximum interest rate that a credit union can charge its members for a loan is 3% per month or 42.6% APR.
We are also very proud of our affordable CUOK payday loan service. The interest rate on a CUOK loan is much lower than that charged on typical payday loans, so taking out a CUOK loan saves you money and makes good financial sense.