Supporting local people

“Our Credit Union did not have to develop a sense of community, or convince anyone of the benefits of self-help or the principles of people helping people. The community has demonstrated these values for generations.” Eileen Halligan, CEO

Liverpool in the 1980s

Liverpool lost 80,000 jobs between 1972 and 1982. The docks closed and the City’s manufacturing sector shrank by 50%.

Screenwriter Jimmy McGovern remembers typing a CV for his brother in the early 1980s:

"From 1976 onwards it was this litany - Birds Eye, Bendix, Leyland, every one of them - reason for leaving: factory closed, factory closed, factory closed."

The area saw huge unemployment. The population halved as people left to find work elsewhere.

The 1980’s started with arguably Liverpool’s lowest point when (along with other UK cities) riots broke out in Toxteth.

A growing need for a credit union

The loan sharks arrived, charging 500% interest. Unemployment ate away at household savings. People living in our original common bond around Park Road, came together to help each other.

After a couple of small gatherings, a public meeting was organised to discuss establishing a credit union.

"Liverpool has always seen itself as separate from the rest of the country.”, says musician Peter Hooton, “As a city, it has more in common with Belfast and Glasgow than it does with London.

Over 100 people attended. As per Peter Hooton’s observation, many were from Commonwealth Countries or Ireland, where credit unions had been a part of their life.

The Credit Union was established on 28 February 1989. And we attracted support from across the political and religious spectrum.

Helping our community

During our first year, Archbishop Worlock visited, was impressed and made a personal donation of £4,000. We use the Archbishop’s donation as a loan guarantee fund in such cases, so we didn’t turn people away. Nor did we risk members’ savings.

We continue to work to build a strong and resilient local community.You can read more about how we promote the financial health of local residents so much so that 55% of members think it’s important to save for a rainy day. Only 40% of people across the UK would agree.

The Credit Union is an essential part of a mixed, vibrant economy. Read more about how CLCU contributes to economic prosperity, which has led to unprecedented savings records in some of our poorest communities.

You can also read about how we’ve been supporting people during Coronavirus.

And the community support speaks for itself, “I am definitely happy in promoting the Credit Union” says Sandra McKenna, “how could I not be when you have been and continue to not only help me but also the whole of The Liverpool Community, you truly are Godsend in times of need.