Community & Ethics
Building Community Wealth
As a credit union, being a good neighbour and making a positive contribution isn’t just a nice add-on or ‘good PR’—it goes to the heart of why we exist.
We want our credit union to be part of making our community fairer, more connected, and more prosperous. For us, that means providing people with tools to take control of their financial futures, including guidance, support to save, and access to affordable credit that gives them the chance to fulfil their potential.
It also means living our values through the choices we make and how our business is run.
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Investing in our community
Financial education in schools
Since 2004 we’ve worked to support financial education in over a dozen local schools. Our outreach workers are regularly invited to speak in lessons and assemblies, and afterwards, we support pupils to join our Young Savers scheme.
Supporting local people back into work
For those seeking employment, lack of a bank account can be a major barrier. We work in collaboration with partners across Southwark to run clinics at Job Centre Plus, Reed in Partnership and other employment agencies.
Keeping money in our member's pockets
In our first ten years, we granted 102,729 loans, saving our members over £37.5m in interest compared to doorstep and payday lenders. That’s money back into people’s pockets, much of which will be spent in the local economy.
Join our community
By joining the credit union not only will you help us to invest in the community, you will be investing in yourself. As a credit union, we are here to help our members achieve their financial goals. So whether yours involve saving for the future, getting free of your debts, or borrowing at reasonable rates to make your plans happen sooner, we are here to help.
Doing banking differently
Widening access to financial services
Access to quality financial services is fundamental to tackling poverty and social exclusion in our communities. Our products are designed to enable everyone to save by accessing services like direct debits for paying bills and online banking.
Decisions based on people, not just scores
Our specialist staff take into account the full range of individual circumstances, using bank statements and wage slips to assess their ability to repay. We think that’s fairer (and smarter) than an automated system based on 3rd party scores and ratings alone.
Tackling problem debt
Responsible borrowing can be an important tool, but too many people in our community are drowning under unaffordable levels of debt. We aim to provide a means of breaking that cycle, with low-cost loans that enable members to consolidate and repay existing debts, putting them the path to becoming savers.
Investing in a fairer world
Reducing our environmental footprint
We were among the first to offer paperless billing over a decade ago, and today, over 90% of the waste we produce is recycled.
Growing the credit union movement
As one of the UK’s leading credit unions, we work to share our experiences with other credit unions, money advice groups, the financial services industry and political and government stakeholders. We do this through a programme of seminars, research reports, presentations and regular visits.
Being a good employer
Our team of locally-based and diverse staff are fundamental to the success of the business and to our relationship with our members. We work to develop and retain our staff over time, and many have been with us since our early days. All employees receive a package that includes flexible working and other benefits, and we’re proud to be a Living Wage Foundation-accredited employer.
Be a part of the credit union difference
Being a credit union member is a win for you, and also a win for the local community. When you borrow with us, the interest you pay helps to support the credit union’s work in financial education, and in ensuring that everyone in our community has access to fair, affordable credit.