Case Study: Growing credit unions.


As part of our Savings campaign we’ve been working with credit unions in the South East. By funding marketing campaigns, we’ve helped them communicate with half a million hard-to-reach consumers, and encouraged a move from debt to savings.

Credit unions are ethical, local community finance organsiations, which can make a major contribution to increasing financial inclusion within their local communities. We’re working in partnership to support their efforts to end financial exclusion. This will also help us understand attitudes to money and savings which will impact our Savings business in the future.

What we’re doing with SurreySave

We began supporting SurreySave, when it set up and applied for FSA registration. Now with FSA accreditation, a marketing strategy is being developed by marketing agency, Omobono, and supported by Legal & General.

SurreySave launched in 2012 and is already raising awareness in local communities and building up its membership using leaflets developed as part of the marketing campaign.

Looking forward, it plans to take its Safe Saving, Sound Borrowing message out to local employers as well as the community.

The SurreySave approach

A key part of the SurreySave business plan is to offer affordable ‘mid-market’ loans of between £3,000 and £7000. The challenge is to encourage people looking for a car or home improvement loan to consider a credit union, which they might not have done before.

Changes in legislation will also help credit unions attract savers, as they’ll be able to offer interest on savings rather than a dividend.

How we’ve helped other credit unions

East Sussex Credit Union (ESCU)
Our project began in 2008, with a makeover of the credit union’s advertising literature and help with re-branding.

ESCU is now one of the fastest-growing credit unions in the country with over 3,000 members. It has administered hundreds of loans to some of the most financially excluded people. Members are actively encouraged to save and ESCU have over £500,000 invested with them.

West Sussex Credit Union (WSCU)
Our support has enabled WSCU to create a business plan and build relationships with local councils and large employers. During this time the credit union has increased its customer membership by over 500%.

It now has a healthy mixture of customers across the county, which means it can provide affordable loans to people who are refused mainstream credit.

From December 2011, West Sussex Credit Union has worked in partnership with its local NHS Trust to promote a payroll deduction scheme to 8,000 employees – a real coup for the credit union and a direct result of the promotional material designed by agency Omobono, with funds from Legal & General.

Mark Gregory, Group Executive Director, Savings said, “This is fundamentally about Legal & General actively and practically supporting organisations who can get people out of debt, financially neutral and saving again. Credit unions are the experts in this area and in our Savings business we need people to have money to save in the future”

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