Leeds City Council Employees Credit Union was established in 1987. In later years taking on employees of the University of Leeds. The common bond changed in 1997 to a Community Credit Union. The common bond was further expanded to include all who live and work in Leeds.
The credit union continued to grow and develop new services for its members, employing four-part time staff and eight fulltime. Vendors from the “Big Issue in the North” benefited from the extended common bond and a training session was tailored to their needs. Leeds city credit union excepted the transfer of engagements by other Leeds based credit unions after long discussions in 2001 and 2002. Many of them felt that it would be too hard to continue and be sustainable under the new regulatory regime. They are Seacroft CU 1997, Scyrack CU 1991 formally South Headingley and Burley Savings co-operative CU, and Halton Moor Co-operative Savings CU 1988.
The introduction of Leeds pet bird Bobatoo was devised to encourage members to take out energy saving loans and also encouraging junior members to save with the Bobatoo moneybox.
A leaflet with simple comparison between HANDILOAN and two loan companies was distributed to 127,000 homes in the city. After the launch £78,000 worth of HANDILOANs were issued to 340 members.
The Financial Services Authority granted the credit union an 11C certificate at this time having a membership of 8,500. The credit union was one of the first in the country to offer its own Child Trust Fund account and was one of the eight credit unions taking part in the banking project. It was seen in 2006 as a major step change in the development of credit unions in the UK offering members a bank account with Visa debit/ATM card. By March 2007 800 accounts had been opened.
Now with 15000 members and the help of local council the credit union expanded its range of premises to seven fully functioning branches around the city many as One Stop shops. Following the credit crunch in 2008 individuals through the credit union in partnership with Sharing the Success (Local enterprise Growth Initiative) members could access the Enterprise Loan scheme which was unique to the credit union. It was a way to help local enterprise continue to thrive. 2012, taking advantage of the new credit union powers they increase the number of members through winning the business of corporate partners. Your Loan Shop opens in Leeds giving a high-street presence to help combat high interest lenders. White Rose Credit Union (1997 and incorporating the engagements of United Stream Credit Union) transferred in 2014. in 2016 the name Leeds City Credit Union has been shortened to Leeds Credit Union and with in excess of 37000 members operating in 38 schools.
Celebrations for the 30th anniversary will take place throughout 2017 and reflect on the experienced and challenges acheived and overcome of the past 30 years.
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