Cloughfern Community Credit Union began operating as a Credit Union in 1990 following
a successful examination by the Registrar from the Department of trade and industry.
The initial Board of Directors consisted of 22 people both male and female but due
to resignations and deaths now stands at 12.
One of the early successes of Cloughfern Credit Union was the development of its
own computer software programme developed by one of its Directors Ray
Perry. The programme was so successful that it was distributed widely accross
Another major success came in 1994 when, with the help of a grant from the Belfast
Action Teams working within the 'Making Belfast Work' programme, the
credit union was able to purchase and erect its own office building
on its current site.
The Credit Union has grown rapidly over the years and due to demand has opened sub-offices
in Monkstown and Ballyclare where it operates on Saturday mornings.
In recent years, and due to its considerable expansion the credit union has employed
a part-time manager, Dionne Corrin, and a part-time teller, Mandy Spiers. These
posts are currently part-time but as the credit union continues to expand and the
need to open more hours increases, it is likely that there will be a need
to perhaps make these posts full-time or to employ further staff.
The current office building is getting old and no longer meets the needs of the
credit union, depite changes to its internal arrangements over the years. The credit
union is currently giving consideration to replacing this structure
with a brick built structure.
Due to the success of our Junior Member Accounts, the credit union is considering
expanding these accounts into local schools. It is hoped to do this in the near
future with the help of The Ulster Federation of Credit Unions which Cloughfern
is an affilliated member of.
Safeguarding Your Money in The Credit Union
The credit union is keen to stress that the credit union is regulated by the Government
through officials at the Department of Trade and Industry. The Credit Union must
submit its accounts, prepared by a Chartered Accountant to the Department for scrutiny.
The Credit Union is required by law to have Fidelity Bond Insurance and cannot operate
without it. This insurance protects the members savings from fraud by any of the
Credit Union's officers or staff
Members can also make a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman if they are
unhappy with any of the actions of the Credit Union.
The Credit Union is regulated by the Bank of England through the Prudential Regulation
Authority and the Prudential Conduct Authority. It is required to contribute to
a Government compensation scheme - The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
which guarantees members savings up to £85,000. If the credit union fails or closes
the Government will pay members ALL of their savings within 7 days.
These 3 types of protection should give those who want to save safely the comfort
to open a savings account with cloughfern Credit Union. The accounts are also designed
to cater for existing members who may also wish to put savings aside in a secure
Savings & Loans
To join the Credit Union requires 2 pieces of identification, one of which must
be photographic, on completion of an application form, new members are charged an
entrance fee of £4 and £2 per year thereafter.
To be eligible for a loan, members must make 13 regular weekly payments, after which
they can switch to fortnightly, monthly or pay by standing order or electronic transfer.
Loans are granted on the basis of members savings/repayment history and the amount
they have saved. Gaps in payments/repayments will result in loans being refused.
Members first loans are restricted to twice their savings up to a maximum of £1500,
subsequent loans are granted at a rate of three times savings. The overriding concern
will always be the members savings/repayment record.
Savings only accounts
Cloughfern Credit Union now offers savings only accounts to existing and new members.
These savings accounts allow individuals to save with the credit union until 1st
November each year when all money saved will be released to the member.