A Credit Union is a mutual financial co-operative, which provides a convenient savings and low cost loan service to its members.
It is owned, operated and controlled by the members on the principle of one member one vote. (No giant shareholders or proxy votes in this organisation.) It offers people the opportunity to have more control over their own financial affairs by making their money work for them and their community.
2. Who does a credit union serve?
Each Credit Union serves a particular group of people. The Plaid Cymru Credit Union serves Plaid members and their families.
3. Why do people come together in a credit union?
The Credit Union helps its members by providing convenient savings and loan facilities. The collective savings of the members provide the means of granting loans to those members who need to borrow.
4. How do members benefit?
Credit Unions are non-profit making, so after paying expenses and providing for all reserves, all surpluses are returned to members in the form of dividends.
5. Do you want people who want to borrow?
Credit Unions encourage their members to take out loans when the need arises. Full member participation is essential to a successful credit union.
Members all save regularly so that the pool of money provides enough for each member in their time of need. To save and not to borrow, to borrow and not to save is to misunderstand the purpose of a Credit Union.
6. What are the credit union’s loan rates?
Credit Unions are not set up to make profits, so they never have to vary their low interest rates. Whatever the rate of inflation or bank rate the Credit Union has only one rate: 1% per month on the outstanding loan balance (12.68% APR).
What is the cost of a £100 loan repaid over 12 months? The total you have to pay the Credit Union is £106.56 (there are no hidden extras with a Credit Union)
7. How are funds protected?
The funds are protected in a number of ways.
Every person who handles Credit Union money is surety bonded – note UCPCCU only deals in banker’s orders, postal orders or banker’s orders i.e. no cash.
Quarterly & Annual Returns have to be submitted to the Financial Services Authority.
The Credit Unions’ own Supervisory Officer / Committee inspect & examine their affairs on a regular basis
Reserves are set up to protect the Credit Union.
An approved Auditor who is a fully qualified accountant audits the books every year
8. Is my business private in the credit union?
Yes, all officers, and indeed all volunteers must sign, and are bound by, a declaration of secrecy.
9. Do you give free Life Insurance cover on Loans & Savings?
Yes, practically all loans are covered by Life Insurance at no extra cost to the member. If you die owing the Credit Union a loan the debt is wiped out. Your family does not have to repay the loan.
The shares (savings) of members earn Life Insurance without extra cost. Each pound saved is matched with a pound of Life Insurance. If you had £500 in shares and you died, your family could receive £1000.
There are a few exceptions – between the ages of 70 & 80 the benefits start to decrease.
10. Who controls a credit union?
The members own & control the Credit Union. The members attend an Annual General Meeting & vote for their fellow members to serve on the Board of Directors, Credit Committee & Supervisory Committee. There are no wages for these volunteers
11. How do I join?
If you are already a member of Plaid Cymru, start by filling in an application form and a banker’s order form. These are obtainable from the UCPCCU office. There is a one-off membership fee of £1. When your entrance fee is paid and you have purchased your first £1 share [savings] you are a member.
At any time you you can alter or stop your savings bankers order.
12. Can I get involved?
Most definitely, You can make a difference to UCPCCU by getting involved in the every day running of organisation. Every encouragement and opportunity is given to members to serve & volunteer for various committees & duties.
13. Who’s on the Committees?
Board of Directors
Chair: Colin Gregory; General Secretary: Stuart Fisher; Treasurer: Jim Criddle; Malcolm Parker; Colin Mann;
Credit Committee : Malcolm Parker; Stuart Fisher; 1 Vacancy
Supervisory Officer : Alan Jobbins
Money Laundering Officer: Colin Gregory
Compliance Officer & Complaints Officer: Colin Gregory
Advisor, IT & Publications: Tony Couch
14. Who are the Auditors?
Ross & Williams, Unit 4, Ynys Bridge Court, Gwaelod y Garth, Cardiff.