GWCU is in a strong position to support and adapt to the needs of our members
GWCU has celebrated another year of success at their latest Annual General Meeting (AGM). The virtual forum, which took place on Tuesday 15 March 2022, allowed the credit union to engage with members, highlighting the significant achievements and milestones of the past 12 months and detailing their plans for the year ahead. Presently, GWCU has approximately 20,600 members and looks after £10.5m in savings deposits.
Last year, the credit union completed a successful merger with Wyvern Savings and Loans in Dorset, extending the common bond area to Bristol, Bath, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, and Gloucestershire and has since rebranded itself as Great Western Credit Union. It has delivered significant growth in lending in these new areas, approving 4,000 loan applications and lending £6.9m in affordable loans. The new Flex@Work accounts were launched, offering employer partner members credit as and when they need it. Also, the newly created Member Support team has supported over 500 members, helping to address any payment issues, and giving members a pathway back to full repayment.
The credit union shared their plans for the 2022/23 financial year including the transfer of Stroud Valleys Credit Union in April, adding 700 members to GCWU’s total and allowing them to further strengthen and grow their membership base in Gloucestershire. Digital transformation will continue to be a key focus for GWCU, as they look to further invest in making improvements to the usability and efficiency of their platforms. In addition, the credit union aims to strengthen their team through recruitment, staff development and training, whilst securing additional investment to drive forward their growth plans.
James Berry, CEO of Great Western Credit Union, said:
“The last financial year has seen the country move from the effects of the pandemic to the latest cost of living crisis. GWCU is in a strong position to support and adapt to the needs of our members, while reaching out to thousands more people who need access to fair and greener financial services during these challenging times".
Our AGM is a reminder of the fantastic community we have built and I fully believe that by coming together, we can help to support our local neighbourhoods and economy.
At the AGM, members voted to approve a dividend of 0.25%. Members can donate a dividend back to the credit union so it can be reinvested back into the work GWCU does to support local communities.
The next Social Impact Report will be available in late spring, detailing how GWCU has supported members and the wider community over the past year. Until then, the 2019/2020 edition is still available to view.