International Credit Union Day 2018

Today marks International Credit Union Day 2018 which is celebrating its 70th Anniversary!

Help spread the word about your local Credit Union!

If you live or work in Neath, Port Talbot or Swansea then Celtic Credit Union is YOUR local Credit Union (trading as Neath Port Talbot Credit Union in Neath & Port Talbot and as Swansea Bay Credit Union in Swansea).

We’re going to be tweeting throughout the day over on our twitter account https://twitter.com/CelticCreditUn where we are approaching 1,000 followers!

Statement regarding failure of LASA Credit Union/My Community Bank Wales

RE: LASA Credit Union/My Community Bank Wales

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has announced the failure of Loans and Savings Abertawe Credit Union Limited (also trading as My Community Bank Wales) which was declared in default on 29th August 2018.

We at Celtic Credit Union, Neath Port Talbot Credit Union and Swansea Bay Credit Union would like to stress that we are a totally separate business and are in no way connected to LASA Credit Union/My Community Bank Wales.

We would like to reassure our members and the wider public that our branch offices in Windsor Road, Neath; Station Road, Port Talbot and Portland Street, Swansea remain open and we are trading as normal.

We are a totally separate, well-established, self-sustaining, robust and growing credit union.  We have been in operation in Neath Port Talbot since 2005 and opened a further branch outlet in Swansea City Centre in June 2017 to support the communities in Swansea that need reliable credit union services.

We are more than happy to welcome any LASA members who may need our services and would invite them to visit one of our branches, call us on 0333 006 3002 or via our website www.celticcreditunion.co.uk

The failure of LASA/My Community Bank Wales does not affect the security of Celtic Credit Union or our members in any way.

FCA to impose restrictions on “rent-to-own” shops

‘Rent-to-own’ shops that sell appliances and furniture for small weekly payments but with a high interest rate face a price cap.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has spent nearly two years looking at the cost of high interest borrowing.

It has now outlined a package of plans for rent-to-own, doorstep lending and catalogue shopping.

High-cost credit is used by three million people in the UK.

Single-parents aged 18 to 34 are three times more likely to have a high-cost loan – such as a payday loan, doorstep loan or pawnbroking loan – than the national average.

“The proposals will benefit overdraft and high-cost credit users, re-balancing in the favour of the customer,” said FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey.

About 400,000 people have outstanding debt with rent-to-own firms such as BrightHouse from which they buy household appliances, paying the money back over three years.

After interest, they can end up paying more than double the cost price.

The FCA said it had seen cases when people had ended up paying more than £1,500 for essentials like an electric cooker that could be bought on the high street for less than £300.

“The FCA believes the harm identified in this market is sufficient in principle to consider a cap on rent-to-own prices. It will now carry out the detailed assessment of the impact that a cap could have on the rent-on-own sector and how it might be structured,” the regulator said.

Such a cap would not be in place before April 2019.

How Celtic Credit Union compares

One deal for a fridge-freezer under a rent-to-own was highlighted by the FCA:

  • Price of the fridge-freezer on the High Street: £250
  • Cost price from a rent-to-own company: £464
  • 156 weekly payments including add-ons (such as a warranty): £7.96 per week
  • Total cost without add-ons: £928
  • Total cost with add-ons: £1,242

If you borrowed £250 from Celtic Credit Union, the maximum interest you would repay over 156 weeks would be £159.11 Total repayable £409.11 – that’s over £800 cheaper!

Although we would discourage borrowers from borrowing a small loan, and repaying it over such a long term as 5 years. The longer the term, the more interest repayable. If that same £250 were borrowed over a shorter period it would be even cheaper.

Original article from the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44307663

Live Well 2 Work Well Event

Market Chambers Neath SA11 1LU

Friday 27th April 11am – 2pm

Neath Jobcentre and Communities for Work are holding an event where you can meet the Organisations who can support you with:

  • Employability Skills, Qualifications and Training
  • Health & Wellbeing Addiction problems
  • Homelessness/Housing issues Energy Saving Costs
  • Personal Finance Self Employment
We can help you improve your chances of finding work or give advice on your problems.
Providers attending:

Communites for Work+    PaCE     Voluntary Service

Gwalia     Wellbeing to Work     Gingerbread

Prince’s Trust     Remploy     Shaw Trust     Workways+

Mind Careers Wales     YMCA     Adult Community Learning

Tai Tarian     Access to Work     Business Sense

Welsh Water     Youth Service.    Neath College

Energy Saving Trust     Celtc Leisure     Cyfe Cymru

Swansea City FC Community Trust

The Wallich     WGCADA     Wheels to Work     Prime Cymru

Neath and Port Talbot Credit Union

Calan DVS     Citzens Advice Bureau     Stop Smoking Wales

Plus more…

The Lesley Kiley Volunteer of the Year Award

In July 2015 we lost a dear colleague and friend Lesley Kiley. Lesley was a dedicated volunteer with the Credit Union before joining us as a staff member.

As an organisation, we rely heavily on the loyal army of volunteers who help us deliver our services in our branches, in our schools and in the community. Without them it just would not be possible to achieve all that we do. So, we introduced an annual award in Lesley’s memory to recognise a volunteer who we feel has provided an outstanding contribution to our work. We believe this is an appropriate way of remembering Lesley and we hope you agree.

The recipient of this year’s Lesley Kiley Volunteer Award is someone who has supported us almost from the very beginning. She has run one of our Community Collection Points alongside her busy job as a sub-postmistress for almost 10 years. She is extremely organised and totally dedicated to the aims and objectives of the Credit Union – Mrs Christine Prior of Cwmavon Post Office.

Unfortunately, Christine was not able to join us at our Annual General Meeting and so we visited her at work to present her with the Award.

Christine was surprised and delighted to be this year’s recipient, saying “Well I don’t do very much really!” But as I explained to her, having a credit union presence in the heart of our communities is central to our ethos and she is instrumental in helping us to do just that.

CCU Easter Opening Times 2018

Our Easter Opening Times this year are as follows:

Monday 26th to Thursday 29th – Normal Opening Hours

Good Friday 30th March 2018 – CLOSED

Saturday 31st March 2018 – 9:30am -12:00 noon

Easter Monday 2nd April 2018 – CLOSED

Tuesday 3rd April onwards – Normal Opening Hours

Notice of Annual General Meeting

The AGM of Celtic Credit Union Ltd (parent company of Neath Port Talbot Credit Union and Swansea Bay Credit Union) will take place on

Thursday 22nd March 2018 at 6.30pm

at

The Mayor’s Room, Neath Town Hall, Church Place, Neath

Please note: Only members of CCU (NPTCU and SBCU) are eligible to attend, so please ensure that you bring your Membership Number and a form of identification with you.

Chief Executive’s Statement – June 2017

Introduction

Welcome to my first statement under our new name of Celtic Credit Union.

At our Special General Meeting in September 2016, we gained the unanimous support of our members to seek approval from our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, to change our name and review our Common Bond. The name-change and the expansion of our footprint to better reflect the true nature of our much-expanded operation was confirmed by the FCA, and so Celtic Credit Union was born!

A Time of Change and Development

The changes that we have put into place over the last few months have been significant, but our underlying ethos and our commitment to our existing and new communities remains the same.

Whilst our name has changed to Celtic Credit Union, we will still be operating as Neath Port Talbot Credit Union across Neath and Port Talbot, but the expansion of our Common Bond now allows us to offer our services right across South Wales.

Our current membership stands at just under 10,000 and of these almost 2,500 are residents of Swansea. With the need to serve our existing membership base, and recognising the obvious necessity to bring our services to Swansea communities in general, we have opened a new branch in Swansea city centre.

Our new office in Portland Street, under the banner of Swansea Bay Credit Union is now part of the Celtic Credit Union group and all members – whether they are NPTCU or SBCU members – can now of course use any of our West Glamorgan offices at Neath, Port Talbot, Pontardawe or Swansea, and will receive the same helpful, ethical service.

New Website

Whilst all of this has been going on we have also improved and expanded our online facilities.

The launch of our new website will take place this month, offering members and the wider public a much more enjoyable online experience, with enhanced graphics and upgraded provision. In addition to online membership and loan applications, users can now make statement requests and access real time information on account balances.

We are extremely grateful for the support of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council in the development of our new website. The award of a small development grant was key in enabling us to commission this project.

New Debit Card

We also took the decision recently to change our pre-paid debit card provider and now offer The Change Account debit card. We have negotiated special reduced fees for our members, so that those who apply for The Change Account in our branches or through the link on our new website will pay less than half of the usual monthly rate for this card.

The Change Account offers many enhanced features, such as:

  • Direct Debits with the protection of the Direct Debit Guarantee
  • No fees for failed Direct Debits
  • Secure Budgeting Wallets
  • Payment Alerts
  • Transparent Costs
  • A wide-ranging Rewards Programme
  • 24/7 UK-based Customer Support
  • Mobile Account Management

The change-over to the new card is already underway for all our current debit cardholders and enquiries for new accounts are welcomed.

Outstanding Business Results

Celtic Credit Union is proud to have achieved self-sustaining status and has grown over the last six years to a level where we now have a substantial influence in the local community with:

4 High Street Branches
1 Business Centre to support our whole operation
1 Mobile Office
28 Payroll Deduction Schemes
35 Community Agencies
44 School Savings Schemes

In addition, we answer 70,000 telephone calls a year; process over 1 million transactions every year with a value of over £40 million; provide over 4,000 members with affordable loans that total over £4 million, and earlier this year the Board of Directors approved an interim dividend of 0.25% with a further review scheduled again for September.

We estimate that all of this activity means that Celtic Credit Union contributes over £15m a year to the local economy. Not bad for a local, ethical, not-for-profit organisation!

With the undoubted success of our operation to date and the benefit of these new initiatives the future of your new Celtic Credit Union is assured.

I am personally confident that we can continue to grow and maintain our ethical, not-for-profit services to even more people over the coming years.

Your Celtic Credit Union continues to go from strength to strength.

 

Steve Mallinson

Chief Executive

Michael Sheen joins Celtic Credit Union on International Credit Union Day 2016

We are delighted to welcome Michael Sheen OBE as the newest member of Celtic Credit Union!

He has already pledged his support for the work of Credit Unions across Wales and as a proud Port Talbot boy has joined his local credit union. Thank you Michael and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

“As Patron of Credit Unions Wales I am fully supporting the ‘Say No to Debt Row’ campaign. In the run up to International Credit Union Day 2016 I want to increase awareness of the many fantastic credit unions across Wales, your own local financial cooperatives!”

Michael Sheen OBE, Welsh Actor

International Credit Union Day 2016

It’s International Credit Union Day this week on Thursday October 20th.  Help us to get the Credit Union message out there by joining our campaign to “Say No To Debt Row”.

Please support International Credit Union Day October using hashtags #ICUday #peoplehelpingpeople  #nodebtrow  @CredUnionsWales  @nptcreditunion

Over the coming month Neath Port Talbot Credit Union is joining a global campaign to increase awareness of the benefits of credit unions and we need your support.

The most recent Bank of England statistics, released in 2015, showed that just 2.4% of the Welsh population are members of a credit union, compared to 7.1% in Scotland and 33% in Northern Ireland. Only England had a lower proportion at 1.3% membership.

We believe that this low uptake is robbing the people and communities of Wales.

At this time of year, retailers gear up for the festive spending season and people succumb to high interest loans and credit cards to fund Christmas. Often these are the people who least can afford those high interest rates.

We don’t have a huge advertising budget to match that of the payday loans companies and credit card companies but we do have goodwill.

 Starting today please support Neath Port Talbot Credit Union and credit unions across Wales on social media:

  • Tweet your support, tagging Neath Port Talbot Credit Union @CredUnionsWales using hashtags #ICUday #NOdebtrow
  • Print out the poster below and take a selfie to post on Facebook and Twitter using hashtags #ICUday #NOdebtrow [email protected] @nptcreditunion

NPTCU-Say-No-To-Debt-Row-Poster