How we started
Oxfordshire Credit Union is a cooperative. We opened our doors on the 30th of January 2006. The credit union was the work of a group of volunteers who wanted to create an alternative to the existing banks and other lenders. We manage our services in a transparent, business-like and ethical way and are owned by and ultimately responsible to our members. Our model is simple: our members save with us and we use those savings to provide loans to our members.
We have grown steadily – from £72,000 in total assets in 2007 to £372,000 in 2013 to £511,000 in 2016. Initially open to people living and working in Oxford itself, we were generously supported by both Oxford City Council and the Tudor Trust.
In 2011, we introduced our pre-pay Debit card. This meant people could draw out their savings from a cash point rather than coming into the office.
In 2012, we extended our ‘common bond’ to cover the whole of Oxfordshire. Then in 2014, we joined with four other credit unions to share the cost of our administration and back-office services through a workers’ cooperative. This allowed us to halve our running costs and expand our opening hours. More recently staff from Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford Bus Company, Oxford City Council, West Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire, Trousdale Bakeries and Vale of White Horse Councils can join and save with us by payroll deduction.
We have plans to grow further and you can read about that in our Business Plan here.
We follow the International Cooperative Alliance values and principles. At their heart, this is about individuals organising together in democratic ways to take responsibility for their own collective futures.
How secure is my money?
We are part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and members’ savings up to £85,000 are therefore protected.
We invest any funds that are not being lent to other members. We hold accounts with other ethical businesses: the Cooperative Bank, Unity Trust, Principality Building Society, Triodos Bank and Close Brothers and our accounts are audited by PWH Accountancy Ltd.
Oxfordshire Credit Union authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the PRA (Firm Reference Number 433137) and licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (no 585835).
Oxfordshire Credit Union complies with the Money Laundering Regulations 2003 and any subsequent legislation aimed at anti-money laundering.