GMB Credit Union celebrates 25th anniversary

‘The global financial climate has been difficult to navigate for our members over the past 25 years … We’ve been a steady and reliable ally’

GMB Credit Union (GMBCU), which serves 10,000 of the trade union’s members, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Launched in 1999, with the aim of “giving GMB members and their families an alternative, more ethical way to manage their money”, it has lent more than £75m to members, issued £11.4m in shares and distributed over £1.6min dividends.

“It brings me great joy to reflect on the last 25 years,” said its treasurer, David Castledine. “We’ve been on an incredible journey of growth and learning.

“Going forward, we’ll continue to support our members’ financial wellbeing and empower our community through the brilliant savings, loans, and education we provide.”

GMBCU was initially based in the north-west of England, before expanding to take in more union members, first in the Midlands and then across the UK.

“In 2007, a big leap happened,” it added in an online blog for the anniversary. “We welcomed our first full-time credit union manager and opened our very own office. This was a home where we could serve our members with even more dedication.”

In 2016 it took another major step, changing its name from Thorne Credit Union to GMB Credit Union, to reflect its “growing role and recognition in our community”.

Further landmarks came in 2020, when it was recognised by regulator PRA as a large credit union – “a testament to our growth, stability and maturity in handling our responsibilities” – and 2021 when its membership hit 10,000.

In 2023 came the launch of the GMBCU app, which allows members to view their accounts, apply for loans and access their membership details.

“The global financial climate has been difficult to navigate for our members over the past 25 years,” added GMBCU. “Throughout global crises, we’ve been a steady and reliable ally for our members. 

“More recently, as our members have been struggling with rising costs, GMBCU has been there to help our members manage their money. Over time, we’ve helped them become more comfortable and savvy with their financial wellbeing.”