A Midlands credit union has loaned more than £700,000 to the community in Coventry and Warwickshire since expanding into the region last year.
Clockwise Credit Union merged with New Central Credit Union in Coventry in October and has seen demand for its affordable loans and ethical financial products soar as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.
It has welcomed more than 1,200 new members from Coventry and Warwickshire since the merger and as a whole the union has grown to 22,000 members.
The credit union is run for its members and is not-for-profit. The union requires deposits from members in order to fund lower-rate, affordable loans – which also enables it to work with borrowers to find solutions when they are unable to repay.
It offers competitive rates of returns for savers, while also providing the loan and budgeting facilities if they are in times of need.
Clockwise requires its borrowers to open savings accounts before they can get a loan, and has products that encourage borrowers to save while they are repaying their loan from the union, with rewards offering through various schemes for saving.
It has 30 staff, with its Coventry office looking after more than 10,000 members across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Clockwise has recently started working with regional accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock, which has offices in Leamington, Nuneaton, Rugby and Stratford-upon-Avon.
The accountancy firm is working with Clockwise as its external auditors and the deal signals a further commitment from the credit union to working with partners in Coventry and Warwickshire.
The credit union, which is headquartered in Leicester, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and CEO Teresa Manning MBE says that the support the credit unions can provide to people struggling financially is now more important than ever.
“Since we merged with New Central Credit Union, we have seen a continued rise in our membership across Coventry and Warwickshire – a region where credit union membership has historically been relatively low,” said Teresa.
“Clockwise is there to support those that are financially excluded or struggling to make ends meet, and credit unions have a vital role to play in supporting families and individuals through the cost-of-living crisis.
“To have already delivered more than £700,000 worth of loans since the merger shows the need for affordable loans of this type, and we are pleased to be working with Burgis & Bullock as external auditors to ensure our finances are in order and working positively for our members.
“The merger in October made us one of the largest community credit unions in the Midlands and we are making inroads at improving the provision of affordable and ethical financial services throughout Coventry and Warwickshire.”
Wende Hubbard, managing partner at Burgis & Bullock, added: “Working with Credit Unions is one of our specialist sectors and we are delighted to welcome Clockwise to our firm as a valued client. We look forward to assisting them with their growth plans as well as sharing our expert external audit services.
“It is good to see the positive impact that Unions such as Clockwise, can bring to the local community.”