Thursday 3 September 2015

Changemaker Credit Union logo

On 8 September 2015 in London, the University of Northampton will be bringing together representatives from Universities across the country to gather support for a new kind of credit union; the ‘University Credit Union’.

The ‘University Credit Union’ hopes to be the first of its kind, providing responsible and ethical financial advice to all students and staff connected with any UK university.

Following the successful conference entitled “Credit Unions: the role of Universities” held by the University in October 2014, the idea of a national credit union based on ‘association’ with a UK university was widely welcomed. Working with partners, the University of Northampton has collated evidence of a desire for the creation such a national Credit Union, open to all staff and students of UK universities.

Credit Unions are social enterprise mutual financial organisations set up by members with something in common to benefit their community – in this case those connected to Higher Education. In the changed world of student finance, the University Credit Union will provide an alternative, ethical financial service for students who are looking to manage their student loans, part-time wages, and the demands of undertaking a university qualification.

University of Northampton Vice Chancellor, Nick Petford, commented: “The proposal to create a ‘University Credit Union’ will unite the Higher Education sector, strengthening the already strong commitment to ensuring that those working and studying in Higher Education have access to ethical, responsible, and affordable financial services. I believe that this proposal has the potential to shape the future of financial services within the Higher Education sector as well as maximising positive social impact within the communities we work with.”

The event provides an opportunity for all universities which have expressed an interest to explore the implications of such a development; gaining insight from regulators, trade bodies, and each other as to the benefits and potential for their students and institutions. The event will enable those universities attending to sign up to this exciting, innovative new enterprise within the Credit Union and Higher Education sector.

Mark Lyonette, CEO of the Association on British Credit Unions Limited, said: “We know the potential for credit unions for university staff and students from the many successful examples in the US and around the world. It is great to see this initiative in place and I look forward to seeing these ambitious plans come to fruition.”

For more information about this event, please contact Bruce Paterson, Credit Union Officer, the University of Northampton bruce.paterson2@northampton.ac.uk or telephone 07436 795003.

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