Credit Unions - reasons why you should use them

At my last session I discussed the history of credit unions and below is a summary of their origin in the UK and the important part, they played and still play in our community.

"In 1964, a group of British-Caribbean's did something historical – they set up the first credit union in Britain, the Hornsey Co-operative Credit Union. This was a reaction against discrimination by the banks, that often-charged Caribbean's higher interest rates and required them to pay larger deposits for loans to buy houses and flats.

To tackle this problem, 10 pioneers from the Ferme Park Baptist church imported a model of banking that was widespread in their countries of origin – the credit union.  A credit union is a bank fully owned and governed by their members as a cooperative, with each member having one vote in electing the board of directors.

The first year saw 200 members join, and soon the credit union had grown to become the flagship of a booming movement. By 1974 Britain had 48 credit unions with 39,000 members, around two-thirds of whom were of West Indian origin."