ICU Day – Our 2019/2020 Highlights

 

Today we are celebrating International Credit Union Day (ICU Day) – a day dedicated to bringing the credit union movement together, raising awareness, revelling in all that we have achieved over the years and sharing both our member and staff experiences. This year, the theme for the 72nd anniversary of ICU Day is ‘inspiring hope for a global community’ – an appropriate topic, given the last 7 months. To celebrate, I am excited to share some of what we at the NHS (Scotland and North England) Credit Union Ltd, have achieved over the last year.

 

Share Secured Loan & Dividend

 

It can take a time and determination to build up savings, sometimes making it difficult, when the time comes, to dip into our hard-earned savings. That is why at the end of 2019, we reduced our Share Secured Loan interest rate from 5.1% APR to our lowest ever rate of 3% APR.

 

 

Since we launched it last November, 507 Share Secured Loans have been approved to the value of over £800,000, helping these members make their savings work better for them.

 

In December 2019 we announced a dividend payment of 1.5% to our members – It’s the highest dividend we have passed on in over a decade. It was fantastic to be able to reward our members with a record dividend which reflects another year of success for the credit union.

1 year of in-house marketing

 

In October last year, we brought all our marketing and social media in house and welcomed Fiona Hughes into our growing team. Fiona has worked on a variety of social media campaigns for both TV and events. Bringing this function in house has delivered a more member specific and tailored approach to communication with our members and the wider community across all our mediums.

 

On working with the NHS Credit Union for the past year, Fiona said, “It’s been the biggest learning curve in my career so far. Every day is different and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a thriving organisation that improves the financial well-being of our NHS staff.”

 

 

COVID-19

 

This time last year, we could never have to imagined that a global pandemic would cause the world to ‘stand still’. As the NHS Credit Union is delivering to members who are on the front line of defence, care and treatment in this pandemic, as keyworkers we were acutely aware of the need to change our practices and approach to meeting member needs under these very different of times.

 

Thankfully, our digital transformation programme which had been well underway enabled the quick and successful implement of home working. Members remained able to access our services online, from withdrawing money at the touch of a button on our mobile banking app to applying for a paperless loan through our Nivo messaging app. The speed at which members and staff were able to adapt to this change was phenomenal and the standard of our service to members only improved with opening hours on a more flexible footing supporting early morning and evening engagement with members who were working long intensive shift patterns during the initial months of addressing the pandemic.

 

We received fantastic feedback from members who were delighted we went the extra mile for them, “I wanted to let you all know that services like yours, are essential to me. Please take care & thank you”.

 

We also thought it to be important to create a COVID-19 help guide, with advice and useful links on mental health and budgeting – you can find this page here.

 

As the months have passed and various lockdown measures have changed, we at the NHS Credit Union have been able to accommodate some staff back to working safely within the office space in the full knowledge that if we require to return to all remote working we can do instantly.

 

3 New Loan Products

 

With so much financial uncertainty at this time, we wanted to offer our members further reassurance that we’re here to support them. One of the actions we have taken to do this, is to introduce 3 new low-interest loan products:

 

• Ten Month Loan
• Lifting Lockdown Loan
• Super Savers Scheme Loan

2020 Awards

 

The NHS Credit Union were shortlisted for 2 awards in the Consumer Credit Awards; Best Credit Union (North) and Healthy Culture Champion Award. As with most activities in recent months due to COVID-19 restrictions, the awards took place on a live Twitter ceremony, we were delighted to receive the Healthy Culture Champion Award 2020. Winning this award is a great testament to our members and how they engage and support us, and also to an amazing staff team who deliver directly to and for our members.

 

Finally it is with great pride that I can also announce that the NHS Credit Union have added the Fairbanking Mark Award for our Regular Saving product. We are delighted to be recognised as the first ever credit union to achieve the Fairbanking Mark for our Savings Product. Through the hard work, dedication and determination of the board of directors and staff team we continually strive to provide our members and their families with a safe and ethical home for their saving and borrowing needs, ensuring we deliver on ‘People not Profit’. To place our Fairbanking Savings Award alongside our Fairbanking Award for our Loan products is a very proud moment and further emphasises our aim to improve the financial well-being of our members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

People Not Profit

 

In closing, it goes without saying that 2019/20 turned out to be one of the most challenging that many of us have ever faced both personally and professionally. As we entered the new credit union financial year on 1st of October, we now have over 19,500 members with over £30 million in savings and £17.5 million in lending to members what an amazing achievement by our members.

 

I would like to assure our members and their families that we continue to strive to provide you with the best possible service we can. We are continually looking to adapt and improve in all areas of our services whilst keeping our members financial wellbeing at the core of what we do.

 

To each and every one of you, thank you for continued support, thank you for your continued hard work and please stay safe and well.

 

– Ruth Dorman, Chief Executive Officer

 

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Healthy Culture Champion 2020