The Fairbanking Foundation awarded a 5-star Fairbanking Mark to four credit unions for their loan products.
Hull & East Yorkshire Credit Union obtained the mark for its Credit Union Loan, Just Credit Union for its Community Loan and Member Loan, London Mutual Credit Union for its Plus Loan and CUOK payday loan, and Plane Saver Credit Union for its Personal Loan.
The certification is granted in three, four or five star versions after the foundation assesses the level of the financial well-being a product delivers.
As part of the process, the foundation carries out research with a representative number of customers who use the product. Key factors include whether customers are able to better manage their money or achieve their saving goals. The provider’s complaints procedure and experience for the product in question are also taken into account.
Fairbanking Foundation chief executive Antony Elliott told the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL): “We have now worked with 11 credit unions to ensure their personal loan products are ready to be granted Fairbanking Marks. The evidence shows that credit unions are playing an increasingly important role in people’s financial lives in the UK.”
Hull & East Yorkshire Credit Union chief executive John Smith said: “As a financial services provider that is owned by our member-customers, we are passionate about developing products and services that help them to manage their money effectively, treat them fairly and contribute to their financial well-being. Our members are the reason why we exist and we know they will be very proud of this recognition.”
Just Credit Union chief officer Karen Farrow said: “The award not only reflects Just Credit Union’s values and ethos but also the hard work of our staff and directors. The team works incredibly diligently to deliver transparency and an excellent service to our members. Improving their financial wellbeing is at the centre of all we do and we are very pleased to have that recognised.”
For the first time, the Fairbanking Foundation awarded 5-star for a payday loan product offered by London Mutual credit union.
London Mutual’s head of lending and recovery Matthew Sweetlove said: “The results show that our credit union is offering a real alternative to the mainstream banking providers. We feel that having an independent accreditation will help us to demonstrate the quality of our products to new and existing members.”
Plane Saver Credit Union chief executive Valerie Walwyn said: “It’s a great achievement for everyone involved at Plane Saver and a reflection of the hard work we do to ensure our members are provided first class lending products, tailored to suit their needs and improve their financial wellbeing.”
The Fairbanking Foundation started awarding the mark in 2010 to enable customers to identify products that have been tested for the financial wellbeing they can deliver. Eleven credit unions have received a 5-star accreditation for their products.