About Credit Unions (inc Rules, Regulation and Reporting)
World-wide there are over 50,000 Credit Unions operating in 105 Countries with over 200 plus million members. In the UK there are over 350 Credit Unions with 1.1 million members
Credit unions, called by various names around the world, are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide savings, credit and other financial services to their members. Credit union membership is based on a common bond, a linkage shared by savers and borrowers who belong to a specific community, organization, religion or place of employment. Credit unions pool their members' savings deposits and shares to finance their own loan portfolios rather than rely on outside capital. Members benefit from higher returns on savings, lower rates on loans and fewer fees.
For more read these recent interesting articles about Credit Unions in the UK.
Download Article on the relationship between Money And Credit Unions (685.3kb)
Download Moneywhich Article.pdf (2397.2kb)
 Source; World Council of Credit Unions
Like all Credit Unions, BERKSHIRE CREDIT UNION has a fully documented set of rules that sets out the what, where, when, who & how it can operate.
Download 2016 Berkshire Credit Union Rules (546.9kb)
Annual General Meeting
As a member based co-operative, BERKSHIRE CREDIT UNION has an AGM when all members are invited to attend and participate in the oversight of the credit union including reviewing performance and vote on key decisions. They are held in March/April
The 2017 key documents are:
Download AGM 2017 Report (1180.8kb)
Download Annual accounts for 2015-16 (1179kb)
Download Draft 2016 AGM Minutes (329.3kb)
BERKSHIRE CREDIT UNION always aim to provide a confidential, high quality service to everyone but inevitably there may be times when you don?t feel we have performed well enough for you. We encourage you to let us know if our service is disappointing so that we can put things right quickly and avoid it happening again.
Download Make a Complaint Form (70.8kb)
Regulation and reporting
Within the UK, credit unions are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Credit unions are also members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority
From April 2013, Credit Unions in the UK are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. These are the same regulators which supervise the banks and building societies. Regulation requires Credit Unions to submit regular financial reports and to meet strict requirements and rules. Key members of staff and elected volunteers involved in the running of the Credit Union must be approved by our regulators.
BERKSHIRE CREDIT UNION registration number is 457045. Details appear on theFinancial Services Register
BERKSHIRE CREDIT UNIONs registered office is 2 Mapledurham Drive, Purley on Thames, Reading RG8 8BD.
A professionally qualified external auditor carries out an annual inspection of the Credit Union's business and reports to the membership at the Annual General Meeting each year.
BERKSHIRE CREDIT UNION also has a Supervisory Committee made up by volunteer members elected annually at the AGM who perform an independent internal audit function.
Credit Unions are required by law to maintain an insurance policy to protect the Credit Union and its members against fraud or theft by members of staff and volunteers.
Money Laundering checks
Credit Unions have to comply with the same regulatory checks for money laundering as the High Street banks, hence why we need proof of ID & Address before we can accept an applicant as a member.
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
BERSHIRE CREDIT UNION members are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS can pay compensation to depositors if we are unable to meet our 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 two times the maximum pay-out limit.
The £85,000 limit relates to the combined amount in all the eligible depositor's accounts with Community Savings and Loans (Berkshire Credit Union) Ltd, 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 contact us , download the FCSC brochure below or refer to the FSCS website or call 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100
Download FSCS 2015 Leaflet (1758kb)
Financial Ombudsman Service
Providing the highest levels of member service is of utmost importance to BERKSHIRE CREDIT UNION and we welcome feedback from our members at any time. In the event that a member is dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, we will endeavor to resolve the complaint as effectively and efficiently as possible.
We have an internal complaints procedure to help resolve any issues or concerns. In the event that our members have a complaint that BERKSHIRE CREDIT UNION is not able to resolve, members can forward it to the Financial Ombudsman Service, within 6 months of the Credit Union's final response letter.
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has been set up by law to help settle individual disputes between consumers and financial firms.
The FOS will only look at complaints if the firm has had the opportunity to investigate the complaint first and provide a response.
If you are not happy with a final response given to a complaint or if no final response has been provided within an 8 week period from the date of initial complaint, you are the eligible to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service and request they investigate the matter on your behalf. No charge will be made for this and any decisions made will be binding on the financial institution concerned.
More Information Further information on the Financial Ombudsman Service can be found at here.