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About OCU

How we started

Oxfordshire Credit Union is a cooperative.  We opened our doors on 30 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.

We opened our doors on 30th January 2006. The credit union was the work of a group of volunteers. 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.

Expansion

In 2011 we introduced our pre-pay Debit card, which 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 and 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.

Our values

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.

Our accounts are audited by Critchleys, an Oxford firm of accountants with interest in ethical and socially aware businesses. Those accounts received an unqualified audit opinion and they can be seen here.

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.

Copyright © Oxford Credit Union Limited, 2014

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