The Co-op Credit Union abolishes membership fees

The credit union reported a surplus of £15,000 for the year 2019-2020

The Co-op Credit Union hosted its first online AGM on 20 January, reporting a surplus of £15,000 for the year 2019-2020.

The surplus was made despite the impact of Covid-19 and a programme of internal investment in pursuit of growth. Lending grew by 20% over the same period.

In line with its board’s strategic plan agreed in September 2020, the credit union announced the abolition of membership fees. The credit union has historically charged members £3 on joining and £5 annually thereafter.

Over the past 12 months the credit union underwent a programme of transformation, investment and renewal aiming to double its size in the next three to five years.

As part of this, the Co-op Credit Union launched of a new secure messaging app from Mancunian fintech partners Nivo as well as a new child benefit-linked Family Loan product to help lower income households reduce their borrowing costs.

It also carried out a member survey to which 1,200 members responded.

Chief executive Matt Bland told members: “The board and I are delighted with the progress we have made this year, setting the foundations for an ambitious period of growth. The staff and board team have worked wonders in difficult circumstances to not only weather the Covid storm, but to achieve impressive growth as well as delivering new products, modern technology, and a clear expansion plan.

“And we are delighted to announce our decision to abolish our existing fee structures which, we hope, sends a strong signal of intent to our members and stakeholders alike that we are ready to serve you, we’re hungry to grow and we are not afraid to be bold in doing so.”

Set up in 1998, the Co-op Credit Union provides savings and loans facilities to employees and members of the co-operative sector in the UK.