St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd
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That Was The Year That Was - 2016
The Credit Union Office, The Presbytery
Swarcliffe Drive, Leeds LS14 5AW
St. Gregory’s Credit Union is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct
Well the clocks have been turned back, the dark nights are drawing in very quickly, so it must mean that the end of the calendar year will soon be upon us as we enter the Christmas and New Year Holiday Period. So it is prudent that St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd take time to review and reflect upon the Credit Union Year 2016 and the activities and circumstances that we have faced this year. The Year 2016 has been a year of change and consolidation for St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd.
During the first quarter of 2016, St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd, like all other Credit Unions and other Financial Institutions in the UK, had to prepare and submit confidential and specific operational policy documents and management personnel details of roles and responsibilities to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the Financial Conduct Au- thority (FCA) and to the Bank of England.
All these three regulatory bodies had previously taken over the control of how Credit Unions operate (along with all other Financial Institutions) in 2013, and were given this authority under Government Approval to consolidate, confirm and approve that existing Credit Unions, like St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd, were a legitimate organisation and capable of providing a quality financial service to its client Members. This protracted exercise was undertaken under what was called THE SENIOR MANAGERS’ REGIME and the FORM “K” INITIATIVE to describe our strategic operational policy details and for all Directors of the Credit Union to submit a CV Document to confirm that their work experience, via their career and voluntary capacity, and the specific roles they undertook on behalf of the Credit Union, would enable the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority to confirm and notify the Credit Union that all the existing Officers providing this information were ultimately confirmed as APPROVED PERSONS under the NEW REGIME in 2016.
St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd successfully gained this approval and confirmation from the PRA/FCA that the Credit Union was a fit and proper Credit Union acting under our FRN (Firm Reference Number) 213539 on behalf of the Client Members it serves.
Against this background it must be noted that all Directors and Volunteer Associates of St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd act in a totally unpaid and voluntary capacity and offer their time freely to the organisation. We are judged and regulated under the same level of criteria as the major Financial Institutions like the Banks, Building Societies etc. So that is a considerable achievement, as we also submit our Returns and Appropriate Fees always on-time to the Nominated Authorities as and when requested.
Also during 2016 we undertook new Auditors, Lindley Adams Accountants, Halifax, who had merged with our former Auditors, Business Focus and Systems Ltd of Otley. Addressing activities within our own Common Bond Area, we are happy to report that a number of new Members (some 30+) have joined St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd to swell our numbers to over 330+ Members; this is very encouraging. The Collection Point at Corpus Christi Church has now been in operation for just over one year, and we sincerely thank the Volunteer Associates at Corpus Christi for providing this service within our larger parish community and encouraging people to consider the merits of joining the Credit Union family and to share in its benefits both financially and spiritually.
Please refer to the BJHN Parish Bulletin to seek out the venues and timings of the weekly collection points across the Parish Community; the Credit Union Office, in St. Gregory’s Presbytery, is always open on any Tuesday Morning between 9.30am and 11.00am for financial administration purposes and for any personal contact by Members if they so wish.
2016 has also seen the High Street Banks SLASH their Interest Rates on Savings and Deposit Accounts to virtually ZERO, following the Bank of England directive to reduce its Global Bank Rate to historic low levels. This has affected St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd accordingly, as we cannot place the Credit Union Funds into any “risky” investments, so we have to ride out the current Interest Rate situation.
Therefore our other major source of Income is the Loan Interest generated from Member’s Loans, hence we are again proactively promoting the Loan Facility from the Credit Union maintaining the current level of Loan Interest Rates to our Members old and new. Again we can only emphasize and inform people considering a Loan, to stay away from the High Street Money Lenders, Pay Day Loan Companies and god forbid, the evil Loan Sharks. Join St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd as a member, to encourage a level of savings and if required make a Loan Application should you require it, at very low levels of interest that are AFFORDABLE AND SAFE. SO PLEASE CONSIDER THIS OPTION.
Another source of potential income is Grant Funding, which the Credit Union is investigating where appropriate to do so. During September 2016 St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd were approached by Leeds City Credit Union Ltd, to meet and discuss the establishment and profile of the Credit Union Movement across the City of Leeds. The Board of Directors met with Chris Smyth (CEO) and Janet Burr (Deputy CEO) at the Credit Union Office. It was a very constructive meeting and we shared and exchanged information on many Credit Union matters and current issues. The Representatives from Leeds City Credit Union expressed their thanks and confirmed that St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd is an extremely competent and efficient organisation offering an excellent service within East Leeds. They informed us as well about future potential Funding Opportunities for St. Gregory’s Credit Union.
However, we have to sadly report to our Members, that during the course of 2016, THREE of our Former Directors of St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd, namely ANN PICKLES (R.I.P) / TONY KEARNS (R.I.P) and MAUREEN MARKHAM (R.I.P) sadly passed away during the Spring and Summer Months.
They were all great stalwarts of St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd joining the Board through its early years and being able to promote and support the development of the Credit Union over these past years. They were lovely, committed people sharing a great enthusiasm for the Credit Union and securing its place within the Parish Community. We thank them all for their dedicated service given over many years to St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd. May they all Rest In Peace.
Finally many thanks to our Management Board of Directors and to our Volunteer Associates who work tirelessly away in the background providing all those seamless services that the Credit Union offers. But most importantly to our loyal and dedicated Members of St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd, both old and hopefully new, who are the LIFE-BLOOD AND SOUL of the CREDIT UNION.
“ St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd IS ALWAYS WORKING FOR YOU!!!”
Stephen Adkin (Director and Vice-Chair) : On behalf of St. Gregory’s Credit Union Ltd
Last Modified on Sun 15th Jan 2017 11:38:35