Chapters & Forums

Chapters are governed by officers elected by the chapter membership. The officers are tasked with developing and coordinating meetings and training, away days, problem solving and other special programs.


 STRATHCLYDE – the chapter are already organised and are fully involved in the promotion of credit unions. Our need is for a Field Officer to co-ordinate many of the initiatives created by members. Unfortunately, they believe the League is not bothered about them and will see this idea as a way of interfering and putting them off. We have grown from two credit unions to thirteen in five years with very little help from the League, Regional Development Committees may be a good idea but we don’t think they are going to take on in Scotland. We need more education – and to that end training sessions are being held every two weeks.

NORTH ENGLAND – There has never been a Chapter in the Northwest because of the small number of credit unions. The East Pennine Chapter feels very strongly that it has been let down and ignored by the League.

MIDLANDS  – There is very little hope this year of finding any volunteers at all. It is going to take some time before, we attract volunteers away from their credit union responsibilities, because most of them have only been in operation less than a year,

SOUTH EAST – The personal commitments of many credit union volunteers makes it difficult for them to consider taking on additional work. London is such a big place; the time and cost of travel are difficulties. There is a need for someone to train the trainers. Perhaps we should see our job differently if we are going into this sort of development.

Manchester Chapter the 90s

In 1988 a small group of approximately l2 Credit Unions in Greater Manchester formed a Forum to exchange ideas and share training. The group met in Manchester Town Hall, this small group were the pioneers of Credit Union development the Northwest. At the ABCUL AGM in Newcastle 1991 Greater Manchester Chapter was born and Paul Jones was the first to be the Chairman.

At this stage ABCUL were experiencing difficulties, there was a massive turnover of temporary staff in their office on an industrial estate in London and ABCUL asked Manchester and Merseyside Chapters if they could help. A new working party was set up by the two chapters called Managing Explosive Growth. This group helped to restructure the ABCUL Board and the regions by putting a total of 13 motions out of a total of 21 to the 1 993 AGM at Cardiff. The outcome of all the hard, innovative work done by the working party was to give democracy back to the movement.

Greater Manchester Chapter continued to flourish and in 1992 received the first grant from the Association of Metropolitan Boroughs to carry out training for all Credit Unions in Greater Manchester. At this time Credit Unions were monitored by the Registry of Friendly Societies, who encouraged small common bonds in areas of abject poverty and alienation. this resulted in a massive growth during the 1990s.

North West Forum 2018 

WELL DONE North West Forum reunited with the former Merseyside Forum at Blackpool for the weekend of January 27th 2018 to continue learning and socialising with like minded colleagues both past and present. After 30 years of developing the movement in their respective areas throughout those years. In 2017 discussions took place about merging both forums to further better enhance future development of the movement. The weekend which has been held since 1993 was a great start to the newly merged forum. The training was of a very high standard and the networking was brilliant.

Fife Forum of Credit Unions

Fife Forum of Credit Unions was set up in 1998 with the following objectives: – To advance education,  provide training, and foster prudent personal financial management.

A CU Development worker supports the Fife Forum and individual CUs.

Over the years 6 community credit unions were established operating in relatively small areas. In 2002, regulation for credit unions transferred to the Financial Services Authority imposing additional regulatory requirements and costs, which has meant that credit unions have had to expand considerably to remain sustainable.

Since 2002 the Credit Union Development worker has been supporting the CU’s to expand their common bond’ area of operation, membership and services. Since June 2006 all communities in Fife have had access to Credit Union Services.  There are now 7 CU’s serving Fife including Tay Valley, a CU for Local Authority (LA) Employees developed in partnership with Perth and Kinross, Dundee and Angus Councils, which serves all 4 Local authority areas. Two CU’s, Glenrothes and Levenmouth and Benarty have purchased their own premises from which they operate.  Dunfermline and District CU rent premises from Rosyth Co-Op at a nominal fee.  Other CU’ s operate collection points from Community Centres and Local Services Offices. In Central Area there are two CU’s.  These are Glenrothes and Levenmouth CU (soon to be known as Kingdom CU), which cover the whole of central Fife (excluding Cardenden and Kinglassie), including Kirkcaldy and Burntisland, and Cardenden and Kinglassie CU.  Membership of these CU’s is approximately 700 and 120 respectively. Glenrothes and Levenmouth commenced operating in September 2004 and have grown quickly over the 2-year period. Cardenden and Kinglassie have increased membership by around 20% in the past 2 years. Glenrothes and Levenmouth CU have their own staff and premises in Methilhill.   They have two part-time staff and operate from the old Fife Council office in Main Street.  This has been made possible with two year funding from Community Regeneration Fund and the Scottish Executive Credit Union Capacity fund.

Fife Council recognises the important role that Credit Unions play in alleviating poverty and in providing financial services in local communities. The need to support the growth of Credit Unions and their ability to become self-sustaining organisations is recognised and is closely related to a number of the priority themes in The Community Plan.

Welsh Forums

Around Fifty people from credit unions all over Wales spent a productive 2 days in Llandudno in July 2001 at the All Wales Credit Union Forum.

All of the delegates rated the event as good or very good and people were particularly impressed by the workshops, which they found relevant, useful and enjoyable. Workshops were held on expanding common bonds, the FSA consultation on Consumer Compensation and Consumer Complaints, employing staff and business planning. The day ended with an open forum.

London and Southeast Chapter

1979: EDUCATION YEAR. The year ahead is hound to be influenced by some of the developments in 1978- One such development for us in the credit union movement, was the presentation to Parliament of the Credit Union Bill, your chapter executive has designated 1979 as Education Year and urge all credit union officers and members to take whatever measures necessary to increase.

Their knowledge of the proposed, legislation. The chapter is planning a programme of week-end courses, one-day workshops and seminars, to run throughout the year. The first course is planned for April, ’79 We would like to hear from Education Officers with a view to co-ordinating our programmes. CHAPTER AGM and CONFERENCE The 1979 Annual General Meeting of the Chapter will he held on Saturday 10th March, next to be followed by a conference. The theme for the conference Will be: Credit Unions in the1980s   Challenge and opportunities- Time of AGM 2.00p.m.

CHANGES IN CHAPTER CONSTITUTION The next meeting of the Chapter will discuss some important changes in the constitution. The proposed changes are designed to improve the efficient operations of the chapter and strengthen the common bond among credit union members- Please make an effort to attend this meeting and help to shape  Date:   10th February,1979 Place: Claver House,65 Belgrave Rd, SWlTime:   8.00p.m.

FEES NOW DUE Presidents and Treasurers are reminded that the   1979 subscription is now due, Send your cheque (£3*60) to the treasurer of the chapter: Len Bushell, 166 Selsdon Rd, South Croydon, CR9 6PJ. 

The Chapter/Forum through the 80′ and from the 90′ to the 00′ over the many years has hosted many extremely successful conferences for credit unions and friends in the sector from across London and the southeast. Delegates continue to meet throughout the year to discuss various current topics in the credit Training is provided by the forum over the year and is well attended from around the UK. Sessions cover topics such as FCA proposals, regulations, including: boosting lending, managing cybercrime, young leadership development, social media marketing, and underwriting and credit control.

News Clips and Documents HERE

Copyright British Credit Union Historical Society 2018 – All rights reserved

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