18 October is International Credit Union Day, and 2018 is the 70th anniversary!
Credit unions in Fife, and across the globe, will be celebrating the history and the success of the “People-not-Profit” philosophy. This year’s theme emphasises the credit union movement’s loyalty to its members and its mission to provide them financial support and guidance.
Credit unions are locally-owned, non-profit-making money cooperatives whose members can borrow from pooled deposits at low interest rates. They are owned and controlled by their members and exist for the promotion of thrift, financial education and debt management advice. As high street banks continue to close branches across Fife, credit unions are a real alternative. Anybody in Fife can join a credit union, whether you have savings or not.
Your money is safe with your local credit union - it's fully guaranteed by the UK Government-backed Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and they are fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority - just like the big banks.
The credit union movement began in the 1840s as a democratic consumer co-operative by weavers in Rochdale, England. Frustrated by bankers who denied them loans simply because they weren’t wealthy, the weavers and workers decided to pool their incomes and loan money to each other. In time, this cooperation put each member on solid financial ground and encouraged their own businesses to flourish.
Today, over 235 million people are served by 56,000 credit unions in 109 countries and 6 continents.
In Fife, there are 5 credit unions with over 11,000 members – and this number is growing!
To mark this day, Fife Voluntary Action is launching a new website for Fife Credit Unions – a resource for people in Fife to find out more about how local credit unions can benefit them and their community.