A Credit Union is a co-operative financial organisation that is owned and controlled by a group of members with a common affiliation (or bond) such as all working for the same employer or particular group of employers or all living within a particular area. Members of Credit Union collectively pool their savings and make loans to each other at low rates of interest. The Credit Union in turn can pay out a regular dividend on savings, and offers a unique and flexible range of financial services to members.
Each member of the Credit Union has an equal say in the running of the Credit Union, regardless of how much they saved. Credit Unions are dedicated to providing excellent member services as well as to ensuring the financial welfare of members,rather than merely make a profit. As such, Credit Unions strive to provide a personal, fair and safe place for members to save and borrow.
UK Credit Unions, like banks and other financial institutions, are authorised by the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Key members of staff and board of directors involved in the running of the Credit Union must be approved by the FCA. The performance of each Credit Union is monitored on an ongoing basis with regular Board reviews, and reporting required to the PRA and the FCA.
Today, there are over 600 registered Credit Unions in the United Kingdom, which provide a valuable and unique service to over 300,000 members. Worldwide, Credit Unions operate in 97 countries around the world, serving over 172million members.
- 1st Alliance (Ayrshire) Credit Union was founded in April 2004 from the combined strengths of Stevenson Credit Union and Kilwinning Credit Union.
- 1st Alliance covers the whole of Ayrshire, anyone living or working in the county can become a member.
- We are not –for-profit financial cooperative owned and controlled by our members, managed and staffed by local people, with a strong voluntary element.
- We strive to offer tailored financial solutions to our members.