Liberty Credit Union tell us about their work.
“Exciting times are ahead as we have just negotiated our first permanent base in Vicarage Field Shopping Centre in Barking. We are looking to open by the end of March 2012 which will make our services even more accessible - you can of course join in our existing temporary site at Vicarage Field (details below).
David Parmenter, of Liberty Credit Union, outside the temporary outlet in Vicarage Field
“We are looking forward to a bright and prosperous 2012 and are determined to ensure that everybody in Havering and Barking and Dagenham are aware of our presence .We welcome any enquiries that you may have.
“We pride ourselves on the basis that we are community led and professionally run. We represent a rare opportunity for local people to become part of an organisation which will help you to help yourselves and friends, neighbours, family and colleagues within the local community.
“The service that we provide has become more crucial than ever in recent times due to the economic downturn which is resulting in people turning to finance companies that charge extortionate rates of interest and often begin a never ending spiral of debt; because of this the need for a credit union locally has never been more apparent. We offer affordable credit with no hidden charges or fees and have allocated loans in excess of £1,000,000 and helped hundreds of our members with loans.
“Liberty Credit Union Board of Directors is made up of volunteers who are members of the credit union so when you become a member you can be assured that funds are not wasted on high salaries or bonuses. We run to a large extent via our network of volunteers with only 2.2 paid members of staff which ensures that running costs are kept to a minimum. Any surplus is re-invested to strengthen the Credit Union and year upon year since we began we have paid an annual dividend to our members.
“Our main office is in Romford and we have several outreach points which are:
Unit 40 Vicarage Field shopping Centre Thursday 11am-2pm, Friday 11am-2pm and Saturday 10am-1pm
Barking Learning Centre Tuesday 11am-2pm.
Dagenham Library Thursday 11am–2pm.
Mardyke Community Centre Wednesday 2pm-3pm.
“Liberty Credit Union has been operating since 2003 in the London Borough of Havering and in September of 2010 we were given sanction from the Financial Services Authority to expand our operational area to include all of those who live, work or have another defining link with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
“We are authorised and regulated by the Financial services Authority which gives our members exactly the same reassurance as they have with any High Street bank or building society.
“There are hundreds of credit unions across the UK and they have been around for 150 years. Credit unions are owned and controlled by their members.
“Liberty Credit Union offer easy access savings accounts and preferential rate loans with free life and loan insurance.
“Credit union interest rates make our loans very good value, better than many other high street lenders, as interest is charged on the reducing balance of the loan.
“Our ethos is very much save a little – borrow a little. We are committed to lending responsibly and if cases present themselves to us where we can’t help, we have good links with other local organisations such as the CAB who give free and confidential debt advice.
“Since our expansion into Barking and Dagenham we have gone from strength to strength and now have over 1200 members.
“To join you will need to provide proof of identity. This can be an official document, for example, a passport, driving licence and also a letter addressed to your current address from a known company, such as a utility bill, council tax bill or bank statement. Please contact the office if you would like to verify the documents that are acceptable.”