Treating Customers Fairly Champion

Central Liverpool Credit Union is very excited to be a finalist in the Consumer Credit Awards, “Treating Customers Fairly Champion”.

We hope that by reading more about our approach to ensuring great outcomes for our members, you’ll cast your vote in our favour by clicking here. Every vote cast is entered into a prize draw to win £1,000!

We’re all members

It’s natural for us to be focused on the needs of our members. We treat them fairly because that means treating ourselves fairly. That’s because all staff, volunteers and Directors are members. Saving and borrowing on the same terms as everyone else.

The people running CLCU are from the communities we serve. Looking after our members is looking after ourselves and neighbours.

Understanding the interests of members

Lived experience has helped CLCU understand the needs of members. And we are always listening. We conduct regular surveys, but most importantly we have thousands of one to one discussions with members, providing constant feedback.

We analyse data and wider economic trends. All of this helps us adjust our savings and loan products accordingly.

Everyone has unique needs

Everyone is different. Because of this, we spend time with members helping to understand their unique needs. This includes working out disposable income honestly and accurately to ensure loans are affordable.

It also includes helping with a family emergency, insurance claims and, of course Covid-19.

Since lockdown an estimated 80% of borrowers have used some of their loan to meet Coronavirus related expenses. 9 in 10 of these loans have gone to people living in the top 10% poorest areas in the country. Read more in our Covid-19 Impact Report.

Those needs can change

We listen to members sympathetically there’s a change in circumstances. We change agreements, helping members struggling to repay. Since Coronavirus this includes payment holidays.

Financial health is a top priority

The Credit Union encourages people to save as they borrow.  We asked 250 members about their number one money goal. Almost without exception it was to save more. CLCU believes that building a safety net is the best way to improve financial wellbeing. We go a step further by rewarding regular savers with reduced interest rates on loans.

Once a member has been with the Credit Union for 2 years, their savings to loan ratio is 20p for every £1 borrowed. Members with five years’ membership have 45p in savings for every £1 borrowed.

We provide regular money tips to improve financial literacy and education. These are read by more than 100s of people every month.

Looking forward

From early autumn, we will be rolling out a new mobile app built for the Affordable Credit Challenge. This provides unsuccessful loan applicants with precise advice to turn their application into an accept. The app shares a view of financial health with our members, so they can improve their financial well-being over time.

Vote for us

Winning this nomination will provide a great boost to our work as we celebrate more than three decades of service in Liverpool.

Last summer we were one of only 15 credit unions to be selected to provide a Prize Saver account. In winter we were a finalist in the Affordable Credit Challenge. In May our work supporting members during Coronavirus was recognised with a grant from Fair4All Finance.

Vote for us. Every vote cast is entered into a prize draw to win £1,000!

Sign up for the latest news and money tips below:

Vote for us in the Consumer Credit Awards 2020

Central Liverpool Credit Union has been nominated for an award; ‘Best Credit Union in the North’.

Please vote for us by clicking here. Every vote is entered into a prize draw to win £1,000!

We are part of the community

CLCU was born and bred in L8 and now operates across the city and invests in local facilities like our community garden.

We’re non-profit

All our profits are either re-invested in the Credit Union or given to members as a dividend.

Free insurance

Up to double your savings are payable upon death to your next of kin.

Supporting the next generation

CLCU has been running for more than 30 years. We’re now focussed on the next generation of members, operating savings schemes in 23 schools.

We save members’ money

The Credit Union saves members nearly £3m in interest payments compared to high cost lenders, every year.

Support during Coronavirus

We’ve helped members meet the costs of lockdown with nearly £1m of loans since 23 March

Encouraging saving

The longer people stay with us, the more they save. We even offer a Prize Saver account which offers a monthly prize of up to £5,000

Training for staff and members

Investing in our own staff and volunteers, we deliver financial education to our membership.

Covid-19 Impact Report

We are very pleased to publish our Covid-19 Impact Report.

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This comes as the Credit Union has been nominated as the ‘Best Credit Union in the North’. If you like what you read below, please consider voting for us by using the link below.
Anyone voting is entered into a draw to win £1,000.

Meeting borrowing needs

8 in 10 borrowers told us that some or all of their loan was used to  support them to meet Covid-19 related expenses.

Loans have helped with home education and cashflow. Self-isolating members have purchased their own Personal Protective Equipment.

Over 60% of people borrowing since 23 March said that if the lockdown continues they may need to borrow again.

Importantly, this money has gone where it’s needed the most.

86% of all loans were issued to people living in the top 20% most deprived wards in England.

Furthermore, there’s a double whammy in the area around our head office. 1/3 of people over 40 living in L8 have health conditions requiring self-isolation.

Saving money compared to high cost credit

Borrowing from a high cost lender costs 1.65 times the amount borrowed.

However, borrowing from Central Liverpool Credit union costs, on average, just 1.08 times the amount borrowed.

75% of borrowers are vulnerable to using high cost credit.

Compared to these pay day or doorstep loans, your Credit Union saves local residents £2.8m in excess interest payments every year.

A lasting legacy

We like to give our members a nudge when it comes to saving.

Through our Save as You Borrow scheme, a proportion of the loan repayment is allocated to a savings account which cannot be accessed until the loan is repaid, reducing the need to borrow in the future.

Because of this, within two years of joining, borrowers have around 20% of their outstanding loan balance held as savings.

Furthermore, this increases to 45% after five years’ membership.

Almost two thirds of members with more than £100 in their savings accounts live in the lowest income areas.

And this has a positive impact on financial wellbeing too.

As a result, 65% of CLCU members are confident managing money compared to 58% across the UK.

Additionally, 55% of members think it’s important to save for a rainy day. Only 40% of people across the UK would agree.

Improving financial health

In our recent survey, over half of respondents told us that they were interested in financial education course run by the Credit Union.

After summer we’ll be piloting a new mobile app which members can use to track their financial health. The app will be used to let applicants know how to improve their credit profile, increasing the chances of getting a loan.

Three Financial Health Indicators will show movement from red through amber to green. Because of these, borrowers will be provided with tips, making it more likely that loan decisions move from ‘no’ to ‘yes’. Then, when the lending criteria is likely to be met, a ‘one click’ loan application is sent to the Credit Union.

We are looking for members to help us test this new app and understand more about your financial health.

If you are interested in taking part, fill in the form below.

Annual General Meeting 2020

NOTICE OF AGM – FRIDAY 26TH JUNE 2020 AT 5.30PM

By Zoom invitation

Dear Member,

You are invited to the Annual General Meeting of Central Liverpool Credit Union, which starts at 5.30pm and should conclude no later than 6.30pm.

The agenda is below and will be available on the day along with last year’s minutes and this years Annual Report and Accounts.

This year, because of lockdown, we will be holding our AGM via Zoom.

If you wish to join the zoom AGM please use the form below, so that we can confirm your identity and send you an invitation to the zoom meeting.

Only members can vote at the AGM

Agenda

  1. Agree the Standing Orders for the meeting;
  2. The receipt of the accounts and balance sheet and of the reports of the Board of Directors and the auditor;
  3. The appointment of auditors
  4. The election or ratification of the Board of Directors
  5. The application of surplus;

Important notice

On Friday 29 May 2019, from 12.30pm, our services will be unavailable due to essential computer maintenance.

Telephone calls will be answered where possible but a response to your query may have to wait until Monday 1 June, when we will be back to normal.

If you need to transfer money on Friday, please be sure to contact us before 12 noon on the day.

We apologise for any inconvenience this essential work may cause.

Your Credit Union is Mental Health Aware

Central Liverpool Credit Union is Mental Health Aware.

Last summer (seems so long ago now) several of our staff and volunteers attended an Adult Mental Health First Aid course.

They are now certified as Mental Health First Aiders.

The course taught in depth skills for providing first aid to people who may be experiencing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and psychosis.

Having Mental Health First Aiders supports our members in times of stress or anxiety.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness week and this year’s theme of Kindness we have planned several acts of kindness from which members can benefit.

The first is to offer free places on a half day course to our members. This is on a first come first served basis. You too can be mental health aware.

We will arrange for the course to be delivered at some time later in the year (lockdown permitting) at our head office in Liverpool 8.

About the course

This course raises awareness of mental health. It covers:

  • What mental health is and how to challenge stigma
  • A basic knowledge of some common mental health issues
  • An introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing
  • Confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue

Everyone who completes the course recieves:

  • A certificate of attendance to say you are Mental Health Aware
  • A manual to refer to whenever you need it

A workbook including a helpful toolkit to support your own mental health

The course is currently available as an online course at £125 per person at https://mhfaengland.org/individuals/adult/half-day

However, we feel members will benefit more from a group training situation so that is what we will be arranging. If you are interested in attending this course towards the end of this year then message us with your contact details and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Mental Health Awareness week

This week is Mental Health Awareness week.

The theme for this year is Kindness.

During Mental Health Awareness Week, are asking you to do three things:

  1. Reflect on an act of kindness. Share your stories and pictures (with permission) of kindness during the week using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
  2. Use our resources in your family, school, workplace and community to join with thousands in practising acts of kindness to yourself and others during the week. Visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk
  3. Share your ideas on how you think we could build a kinder society that would support our mental health using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

 

Throughout this week your credit union will post articles that can help your mental and physical wellbeing.

Watch out for them, share them, tag us in them and follow us on Facebook.

Coronavirus – an update on services and advice for members

We’ve spent the last few weeks making sure that as many members as possible can liaise and transact with us from a distance by making full use of our website and social media platforms.

Please follow us on Facebook to keep up to date.

We have also been putting in place operational procedures that safeguard, as far as we possibly can, our staff and the members that enter our branches.

Branch opening

Our branch at Park Street remains open between 10am and 12noon each day.

Please note that between 9.30am and 10am we are open for pensioners and vulnerable members only.

Our branches in Kensington and Walton are closed until further notice.

Payments and withdrawals

Any regular payments to bank accounts or Engage cards will be paid as usual. Any member can request this service.

Contact us using the chat feature on our website to set this up.

Loan agreements

We will be introducing e-signatures for loan agreements from Monday 30 March.

Loan agreements will be sent to your email for signing. Once you’ve received confirmation that the agreement has been signed – there is no need to contact us. Your payment will arrive shortly.

Checking your balance

You can check your balance online. If you’ve not already done so, please register for access.

Download our App

CU Anywhere is the app for giving you complete control of your credit union funds. Beat the queues and do your transactions while on the go or from the comfort of home.

 

Contacting us

The quickest and best way to contact us is via chat on our website. The average response time is just 7 minutes. You can also email us. Our phone lines are open but are very busy.

Get the latest advice

Citizens Advice provide up to date information on your rights and responsibilities during Coronavirus.

Beware of scams

Scams trying to get money from innocent people are unfortunately plentiful. Text messages that look like they are from the government promising a £350 refund and emails saying you’ve been fined are doing the rounds. Keep up to date to avoid being ripped off.

Beware of bad advice

Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Follow Government advice  and don’t believe everything you read on social media. Coronavirus: The fake health advice you should ignore.

Finally

This is a testing time for all of us and we know that you must all be feeling as anxious as we are. We want to provide the best service that we can during this time, but not at the risk of people’s health.  Please be as patient and cooperative and together we can get through this easier.

Services during the Corona Virus outbreak

The staff and volunteers of Central Liverpool Credit Union are skilled and talented people who can overcome many problems. We turn our hands to many things but, unfortunately, we are not immune to catching or spreading viral infections.

From Monday 23rd March we will be operating a social distancing policy. This means asking for your co-operation by limiting your physical attendance at our branches.

The best way to keep up to date with developments during the Corona Virus outbreak is to follow us on Facebook.

Online access

  • The best and fastest way to interact with the Credit Union during this period is online: https://centralcu.co.uk
  • If you are registered for online access you can check your balance by logging onto your account.
  • You can register for online access here.
  • You can apply for a loan online.
  • If applying for a loan, to minimise the paperwork necessary we encourage members to opt to use Open Banking or upload their bank statements online when applying for a loan.
  • We are still accepting new members but not in any of our branches. To become a member apply online.

Contacting us

The quickest way to contact us is using the online chat feature on our website. Click the speech bubble on the bottom right of the screen to start talking to us.

You can also speak to us using Facebook Messenger.

You can also email us.

If you do not have email access you can make a loan application or card payment over the phone. But please be patient, your call will be answered as soon as possible.

Collecting money

If you collect money from the credit union on a regular basis this now needs to be sent to your regular bank account. We are waving transfer fees until further notice.

If you have not registered your bank account, you will need to do this now. Please use the chat function on the website to do this.

If you want your money sent to a third party bank account, we will allow this during the pandemic for members without a bank account.

Both you and the account holder will need to agree to an indemnity. Please use the chat function on the website to do this.

Attending branch

Please do not attend the branch unless it is absolutely necessary. Bring your own pen or use one of our free pens and you take it home with you.

DO NOT attend if you have a fever, cough or cold.

Each branch will be open from 9.30 am – 10.am  and 2.30 to 3pm for pensioners only.

We don’t want our older members to feel even further isolated. We will welcome them into branch at that time so that they do not need to worry about crowds. Please honour this time and stay away if you are not a pensioner.

Stay well

If you are in financial difficulty, contact us. We will try to help.

As we care about our staff and you, our members, we feel it is now time to take precautions to safeguard us all as much as possible.  But we don’t want to be scaremongering, instead we want to be caremongering. We want to encourage our members to do the same.

If you are young and fit look out for your family, friends and neighbours and why not offer some Viral Kindness instead? Print and pass out the postcard below.

Here’s to your continued good health, best wishes from the board, staff and volunteers at Central Liverpool Credit Union.

We’re a finalist in the affordable credit challenge

Central Liverpool Credit Union is one of six organisations to have won the first round of the Affordable Credit Challenge.

The Affordable Credit Challenge award enables the credit union to build software that will help members make a successful loan application.

Currently when a member is turned down for a loan, we can’t tell them precisely why.

It might be because there are missed payments on other loans. Maybe there’s a recent County Court Judgment. Perhaps there’s just too much debt. In some cases the proposed loan payments aren’t affordable.

To solve this a new mobile app will show borrowers more of the information that’s used to make lending decisions.

About Financial Health Indicators

We know that credit scoring isn’t easy to understand. And, to be honest, it’s not something we particularly like either. Instead we will be working with our software partner to develop Financial Health Indicators (FHIs).

Covering spending, borrowing and saving, FHIs will be shared with the Credit Union’s borrowers. The indicators will be used to let applicants know how to improve their credit profile, increasing the chances of getting a loan.

FHIs will show movement from red through amber to green. Borrowers will be provided with tips, making it more likely that loan decisions move from ‘no’ to ‘yes’. Then, when the lending criteria is likely to be met, a ‘one click’ loan application is sent to your Credit Union.

Helping you budget

As well as credit reference agency information we offer an Open Banking service, enabling members to provide temporary access to a bank account so the Credit Union can retrieve 90 days of bank transactions. We have around 200 members using Open Banking each month.

Read more about how we use Open Banking.

Subsequently, the 90 days of transactions are presented back as an income and expenditure budget using the 50/30/20 rule.

The method is simple. Households split their income into three different categories: essentials (needs: 50%). Flexible spending (wants: 30%). And financial plans (goals: 20%).

Housekeeping, bills and transport fall into the first category. General shopping, restaurants, hotels and holidays are not essential. They’re classified as ‘wants’. Finally, 20% is spent on financial goals. Paying down debt, saving for the future.

Of course, everyone’s spending habits present an opportunity to save money. This information will help borrowers find ways to improve their budget.

Furthermore, all this information will be provided to members free of charge.

Importantly, there will be no obligation to apply for a loan from the app. Its an additional opt-in service. The Credit Union will be providing financial education for its members and helping applicants make better loan decisions.

The app will be ready early next year. We’ll let members know when early access is available.

Get involved

In the meantime, the Credit Union and our software partner – NestEgg, want to hear what you think about our ideas.

We are keen to ensure that the app meets member needs. So we’re looking for feedback on our plans and for members to answer a few survey questions. We’ll give every participant a £10 Marks and Spencer voucher in return for their help which shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours in November and December.

Please complete the form below if you’re able to help.