Welsh credit union pioneer wins award for her service to the movement

Leanne Herberg, CEO of Cardiff & Vale CU, won a Lifetime Achievement Award from Credit Unions of Wales

A pioneer of the credit union movement has received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Credit Unions of Wales.

Leanne Herberg, CEO e of Cardiff & Vale Credit Union, received the national title from BBC broadcaster Roy Noble at the ceremony. For the past 11 years she has been one of the most respected and recognised advocates within the credit union movement in Wales.

Herberg, who was due to leave her post for a new role in Cardiff Metropolitan University, said: “I’m very honoured to have won the award, and would like to thank my team, board of directors and volunteers for their brilliant support. Our achievements have all been a team effort, and I’m very grateful to them. I’d also like to thank all of my Credit Unions of Wales colleagues for their wonderful support and friendship. There is a fantastic network of mutual support in the sector here in Wales, and I’ve loved being a part of it.”

Under her leadership Cardiff & Vale Credit Union has grown from a small credit union sited in the basement of Cardiff’s County Hall, to a financial co-op that has more than doubled in membership, with two prominent branches one in a prime position in the city centre of Cardiff, and the second in the heart of Barry. 

Leanne’s tenure saw the credit union strengthen its approach to ethical finance, becoming a Real Living Wage employer, achieving Chwarae Teg Fair Play accreditation for gender diversity, being named Social Enterprise of the Year at the Cardiff Business Awards and becoming the first financial services provider in Wales to receive a five-star accreditation by the Fairbanking Foundation for its personal loans.

Credit Unions of Wales added that her “ passion and vision for fair finance” saw her promote the work of credit unions, from representing the movement on Welsh government’s Financial Inclusion Steering Group, taking part in a number of Money and Pensions Services roundtables to develop a new vision for financial wellbeing in Wales, to speaking at high profile events and representing Welsh credit unions in media interviews. 

The awards were handed out last October to mark Inernational Credit Union Day.