Great Western Credit Union currently has almost 20,000 members
Great Western Credit Union (GCWU) is the new organisation established after the merger between Bristol Credit Union and Wyvern Savings and Loans in March 2021. The credit union aims to triple its membership in the next five years, whilst also offering services to almost 20,000 members across South West England with a combined total of £12.5m in assets. A larger ‘common bond’ area provides the opportunity for over 800,000 people to access affordable financing and social investment with GWCU helping to improve the region’s financial wellbeing. At the same time, the GWCU MONEY@WORK scheme has added several new employer partners from the broader region including Dorset Council, Dorchester Town Council and Sunseeker International.
South West England is fast becoming a hotspot for fintech transformation, with Bristol and Bath among the UK’s top fintech clusters, according to the Fintech Strategic Review as reported by Business Live. Extending the ‘common bond’ area allows GWCU to invest in developing their technology, providing additional services for existing and new members. The registration of the new umbrella name was accepted by the Financial Conduct Authority on 12th April 2021. The new name for the ethical, community-owned bank, which is now the largest credit union in the region, was chosen to reflect the institution's greater geographic span, helping people across Bristol, Bath, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire access fairer finance.
The MONEY@WORK scheme helps over 50,000 employees of partner organisations access affordable loans and savings with repayments being made directly from their monthly salary. The new employer partners join recognised names such as Airbus, Bristol City Council and the Soil Association among others. MONEY@WORK improves the social wellbeing of its partner businesses, with the Getting Workforces Saving Summary Report February 2021 stating that payroll schemes helped credit union members feel less anxious about their finances.
James Berry, CEO of Great Western Credit Union, said:
Following the ravages of Covid-19, people across the world and closer to home have faced more economic hardships than at any point in living memory. Great Western Credit Union presents the opportunity to financially support members from Portland to Bristol, offering services to help the region build back better through the use of innovative technology whilst imploring the latest principles in sustainability. Our MONEY@WORK scheme and new digital platform respond to the challenges of the present, positioning Great Western Credit Union as the number one fintech provider that is headquartered in South West England.
Heather Williamson, Corporate HR & OD Business Partner at Dorset Council, said:
Employee wellbeing is so important to us and we are delighted to be able to offer our employees affordable loans and savings plans directly from their salary to help alleviate financial stresses. We are really looking forward to partnering with Great Western Credit Union and the set up process is so simple.
GWCU aims to make banking fairer and more inclusive, whilst helping local communities to thrive. Any profit the credit union makes is reinvested into its services and shared between members as dividends. In addition to the updated website featuring new regional information, the members portal allows people to manage their accounts, view transactions, move money and apply for new plans, anyplace, anytime.