Over 300 credit union representatives will meet in Manchester this weekend for the Annual conference and general meeting of the Association of British Credit Unions (Abcul). The event marks the 50th anniversary of the first credit union in Britain.
The conference, which takes place at the Midland Hotel, will welcome delegates from both national and international bodies, including the World Council of Credit Unions, HM Treasury, the Church of England and the Bank of England.
The opening session will look at regulation and legislation and will be chaired by Mark Lyonette, chief executive of Abcul. Speakers at this session include Roger Marsh of the Prudential Regulation Authority; Charles Roe from the Financial Conduct Authority; Dan Turnbull of HM Treasury; and Sue Lewis of Financial Services Consumer Panel.
Sir Richard Leese, the Leader of Manchester City Council along with Grzegors Bierecki, the chair of the World Council of Credit Unions, will be officially opening the conference during an an evening reception at Manchester Art Gallery on Friday.
Young leaders will also reflect on regulation during the National Young Leaders Forum on Saturday morning. The conference will then continue with a presentation by Brian Branch, president and chief executive of WOCCU, and Grzegors Bierecki, who will provide an insight into the global credit union sector. Mr Bierecki will also lead a discussion on the power of co-operation among credit unions, explaining how credit unions can achieve more through sharing.
Another topic on the agenda is the challenge of the digital age for credit unions. The session will include a presentation by Mark Sievewright of the Financial Services Technology, Mobile Banking and Payments (FISERV), a global provider of information management for the financial services industry.
Delegates will find out how to make the most of social media from Matt Haworth of Reason Digital, who will be leading a special workshop.
On Saturday evening, credit unions from across Britain will be honoured during a gala dinner at the Midland Hotel. The event will be hosted by broadcaster Liz Barclay.
Abcul Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said: “I’m really looking forward to welcoming people to Manchester for this milestone event. It is important that as we grow and develop as a sector that we don’t forget the people who first decided that their neighbours and colleagues needed a fairer form of finance and brought credit unions to Britain.
“Events like this also give us the opportunity to learn from our colleagues in credit unions around the world, where 200 million members are served in over 100 countries. Credit unions here have ambitions to grow and share their success with many more people, but we all will still have the pioneers to thank for their ambition and innovation.”