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Are my details kept confidential from my employer if I borrow from you?

Yes. An employer will, of course, know what you are paying each week or month into the credit union. This is because they are managing the payroll deductions. However, they would not know if this was savings or a loan.

We would not normally contact your employer and would only do this with your agreement. The one exception is if individual defaults on a loan and leaves the organisation. In that event, we would reserve the right to ask their help to get in contact with you.

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As an employer, why would I set up payroll giving?

  1. It’s part of being a good employer – supporting staff to become financially independent and less dependent on very high-cost loans.
  2. It’s cheap and easy to set up – using a payroll deduction for both staff and employers.
  3. Debt is a major source of stress and illness – which affects people as employees.
  4. It’s part of ethical businesses – so is typically part of your CSR policy.
  5. Some employers offer loan schemes, but they can be cumbersome and many individuals (perhaps those with the greatest needs) don’t necessarily want to come to their bosses to ask for a loan.
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Isn’t my money safer in a bank?

We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA). These are exactly the same organisations that regulate banks, building societies and other financial institutions. This means that all credit unions meet the FCA/PRA’s strict standards.

Credit Unions are also members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so member’s savings are always protected, exactly the same way as they would be in a bank or building society.

Important information about compensation arrangements

We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS can pay compensation to depositors if a credit union is unable to meet its financial obligations. Most depositors – including most individuals and small businesses – are covered by the scheme.

In respect of deposits, an eligible depositor is entitled to claim up to £85,000. For joint accounts each account holder is treated as having a claim in respect of their share so, for a joint account held by two eligible depositors, the maximum amount that could be claimed would be £85,000 each (making a total of £170,000). The £85,000 limit relates to the combined amount in all the eligible depositor’s accounts with the credit union, including their share of any joint account, and not to each separate account.

For further information about the scheme (including the amounts covered and eligibility to claim) please refer to the FSCS website http://www.fscs.org.uk or call 0800 678 1100.

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Who runs Oxfordshire Credit Union?

Oxfordshire Credit Union is run by a volunteer board of Directors who bring their experience and skills to the operation of the business. These people must be accepted as a “fit and proper person” by the regulator and undergo training from the Association of British Credit Unions. They are elected by the Annual General Meeting of the credit union.

The day-to-day operation is carried out by a team of paid employees who are employed by a partner coop called Credit Union Solutions. We share this organisation with five other Credit Unions so we can keep our running costs as low as possible.

All officers and volunteers sign a declaration of confidentiality, so all members’ information is kept totally confidential at all times. A qualified auditor prepares the Annual Audit Report that is submitted to the members at our Annual General Meeting.

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What is a Common Bond?

The Common Bond is the factor that unites every Credit Union member. A ‘Common Bond’ is defined as:

  • An area where all the members live or work together in the same locality (for us that is everyone that lives or works in Oxfordshire)
  • Where all members are in the same profession or work for the same employer
  • Where all members are in the same club or association
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How do I withdraw my savings?

You can withdraw money from your Share Account at any time unless secured against a loan. Money is paid either directly into your bank account or Engage Account. Or you can complete and return to us a Share Withdrawal Form.

For fraud prevention purposes we can only pay to an account in your name, we will contact you if we don’t recognise the bank account details provided.

Withdrawals are made free of charge 7 days after the request is received, so it is best to plan and decide when you will need your money and how much you would like to withdraw.

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Why are your loans so affordable?

Credit unions do not have shareholders to pay, as our members are our shareholders. By law, the maximum interest rate that a credit union can charge its members for a loan is 3% per month or 42.6% APR. The interest rate on a typical loan from Oxfordshire Credit Union is much lower than that charged on typical payday loans, so taking out an Oxfordshire Credit Union loan saves you money and makes good financial sense.

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Do you pay interest on my savings?

You get a dividend; which members agree at the annual general meeting. Last year it was 1%, we plan to make dividend payments going forward. It’s worth noting that this is a dividend which depends on the performance of Oxfordshire Credit Union. It is not regarded as interest, so is appropriate for religious groups who do not believe in charging or paying interest.

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