EDINBURGH, Scotland–Capital Credit Union here is reporting a near-50% increase in new members for the first half of its financial year as its investment program begins to pay off.
It has reported a sharp increase in lending in both personal loans and mortgages for the first two quarters of the year, according to DailyBusiness.
“These are very pleasing half year results in what has been a difficult market for those in financial services,” said CEO Marlene Shiels. “We have taken on 1,350 new members so far this financial year, which represents a 49% increase on the same period last year. People are switching on to the benefits of credit union membership and we now have over 23,000 members in total.
“Our personal lending was up by 32% to stand at £4.3 million for the period, an increase of over £1 million on last year,” Shiels continued in an interview with Daily Business. “We have benefited from a recognition that it has never been more important for people to borrow responsibly and from ethical sources. Our mortgage lending has also increased by just over 20%.”
Several Factors Cited
Shiels told the publication she attributes the growth to several factors, including an increased investment in marketing and business development functions.
“We have partnerships with over 70 employers throughout the East of Scotland, which allows their staff to save directly from their payroll and engage with our team during workplace visits,” Shiels was quoted as saying. “We have an active program of helping businesses in the financial aspects of their health and wellbeing agendas for staff. We are promoting and helping people build financial resilience at a time when personal debt across Scotland is spiraling and this appeals to lots of employers concerned about their staff. We would be happy to speak to other businesses about how we can help.”
Expanded Tech Options Coming
Capital Credit Union, which will turn 30 in 2019, is also planning to roll out expanded technology offerings this year. Shiels told Daily Business the credit union has hired someone to head up digital services as part of a £200,000 investment, and is also working to develop new products aimed at younger consumers.
Shiels said the launch by the Scottish government of a “People Not Profit” campaign that includes the actor Michael Sheen has helped to raise its profile.
Daily Business noted that Capital CU’s growth is in contrast with problems being seen by credit unions elsewhere in Scotland. More than 70 credit unions have closed in Scotland over the past decade