A Credit Union that, in addition to the usual Credit Union functions, will lend to members wishing to establish their own cooperative enterprises.
- The common bond of the members of the Credit Union will be ACU membership.
- All Credit Union members will first become ACU members to qualify and join the Credit Union.
- Credit Union Members do not need to purchase shares to quality for membership.
- The Credit Union will provide an opportunity for members to save and then to borrow in order to start their own Community Interest Company (CIC) or cooperative businesses.
- This initiative will have a number of benefits:
- Support members to develop their livelihoods in a cooperative framework
- Reduce the risk of lending by the Credit Union
- Spread the business ownership more widely across the community
- Uplift a wider section of the community
- Help members to develop a broad range of skills
- Develop the culture of cooperation within the community
- Strengthen the culture of democratic organising within the community
- This Credit Union, when established, will help deliver economic, financial, political, and psychological benefits to Afrikan people in the UK.
- It will help nurture a range of dynamic and interconnected businesses constrained only be the imagination and inventiveness of ACU members, all connected to secure sources of financial and knowledge support.
To Show Your Support For The Credit Union Idea Click Here
Credit Union FAQs
There are three reasons:
First it will be national, which is not normal for credit unions, most are restricted by geography, employer, faith group etc.
Second it will lend to members for business purposes. Until 2012 it was not legal for UK credit unions to lend to members for business purposes, and even now many credit unions do not do that.
Finally, it will lend to members to start or develop their cooperative businesses. There are many funds to help people start their own private businesses, but very few to help people start cooperative businesses.
Many African People are low income earners, and cannot hope to build up or gain access to a significant financial resource unless they save regularly with others.
First: the fact that cooperatives are owned by all means that as they become wealthy a larger proportion of the population in the society also become better off. They uplift a greater proportion of the community than private businesses do. (See below for the evidence from Emilia Romagna). Second: they grow as quickly if not more quickly than privately owned firms, and certainly more quickly than businesses owned by one person – sole traders. Third: They help people to engage in democratic argument and decision making, rather than obeying, dictating, or just rebelling.
That will be decided by the members, however there are recommended guidelines that can be used at the start to help ensure that things are done in an orderly and safe manner.
To start the Credit Union, the ACU will need to apply for a licence from the financial authorities. When it does so, it will have to show that there is a need in the community, and the funds to cover the set-up costs have been raised.
A decision has been taken to secure 4,000 pledges as a way of showing that the community supports the idea, and the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) has advised the ACU that approximately £150,000 will be needed to cover the set-up cost. So, the application to set up the Credit Union will be made when the necessary pledges and funds have both been secured.
All funds placed in the Credit Union will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This means that savings up to £85,000 are protected.
See the section on this website called ‘Information About Cooperatives’