Three Credit Unions receive highest Fairbanking Mark from The Fairbanking Foundation
Archbishop of Canterbury uses the announcement to urge more people to consider joining their local credit unions
The Fairbanking Foundation is a not-for-profit charity dedicated to encouraging banking institutions to improve the financial well-being of their customers. It has awarded its first Mark certifications to Central Liverpool, London Capital and Enterprise Credit Unions.
They have all received 5 stars for their personal loan products.
Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who is a patron of The Fairbanking Foundation, welcomed the announcement. He says it is another example of the positive role credit unions can play in society. And the lead they can take in helping to make banking fairer.
In order to receive this award, the credit unions had to demonstrate that their personal loan customers have experienced a positive impact on their financial wellbeing. The products provided budgeting support, encouragement to prepay and developing a savings habit.
The assessment involved independent research carried out with a representative number of members who had taken out a loan.
Fairbanking’s assessment also reviews the provider’s complaints procedures and experience for the product in question.
Antony Elliott, Chief Executive of Fairbanking Foundation said: “Our quality mark programme is an important step in helping customers to identify products that have been rigorously tested for the financial well-being they can deliver. Crucially, it also provides a powerful incentive for financial institutions of all sizes to compete through continual improvement of their products in ways that will truly benefit their customers.
We are delighted to award Marks to these three credit unions and we hope that this will encourage others to come forward and apply for our Mark. We are seeing strong uptake of the scheme in the market at the moment and we very much look forward to announcing further participants of all sizes as the year progresses.”
Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “These awards represent an enormous vote of confidence in these credit unions, showing the service they provide is excellent as well as fair. I hope and pray that today’s awards will inspire more people to join credit unions, which have a very important role to play in making banking more transparent and fair, and in setting an example to the rest of the sector. I also hope the awards encourage more credit unions to apply for Fairbanking Marks, so that it is clear for all to see the valuable service they are providing to local communities across the country.”
Eileen Halligan, CEO, Central Liverpool Credit Union said:“Financial well-being is central to all of the products we offer, and this is reflected in the fact Fairbanking’s research with our personal loans customers reveals that many have one or more other products with us. We strive to be as transparent as possible and offer tools and real people for customers to talk to if they have any financial concerns around our products and are delighted our Share-based loan and Helping Hands loan have been awarded five stars. We also strive to be as competitive as possible, so it was pleasing to see that of the personal loan customers interviewed by the Foundation, 48% said that the loan rate we offered them was lower than they had expected, and only 3% said it was higher.