Known as the ‘Community Bank’ for Shropshire and Telford, Just Credit Union was registered with the Registry of Friendly Societies in August 2001.
This was the result of the work and skills of a committed group of Shropshire volunteers supported by paid staff. The registration of the credit union in Shropshire was ground breaking, covering a large geographical area with its common bond. Since starting they have lent over £10 million to members up to 2016.
There was a unanimous vote in favour of extending the common bond to include Herefordshire and the surrounding areas for a merger with Money Box Credit Union at a Special General Meeting in September 2016. The credit union also serves junior savers.
A partnership in 2017 the first of its kind for Shropshire with Revive lets members buy furniture at low prices in the showroom in Telford Shopping Centre. The partnership enables local people on low incomes to spread the cost of purchasing essential household items using a credit union loan to make affordable payments that suit them.
This is a win-win situation for Revive, Just Credit Union and the customer. Revive was formed by two Shropshire based charities called Shropshire Housing Alliance and South Shropshire Furniture Scheme.
2017 saw the Fairbanking Foundation award JCU the 5-star Fairbanking Mark for both their Community Loan and Member Loan products. To receive the award a credit union undergoes a rigorous assessment, including an independent survey by Ipsos MORI and must prove the product has features and support services which help to improve financial wellbeing.
As well as receiving the 5-star Mark, the credit union were nominated as a finalist for the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2017 because of the positive impact they had on their community. The shortlisting was for ‘Transformative Community Business’ category. Nominating a locally rooted social enterprise that trades for the benefit of their community and has a track record of delivering real benefits for the community they serve.
The credit union in 2018 have been shortlisted for a MoneyAge Award for nomination in the category “UK’s Ethical Services Provider of the Year”. It is the third year, the MoneyAge Awards celebrate excellence, professionalism and innovation in the financial industry. The awards are presented for banks, building societies and credit unions that have been recognised for offering a new product, focus on value and customer service.
Entering lock-down in March 2020, the credit union had to very quickly find new ways of doing things and adapt accordingly to the guidance of central government because of the Covid19 pandemic.
Historically, a lot of contact with members had been face to face but over previous months the credit union had made significant investment in new technology which gave a great platform upon which to provide members with a continued great service.
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