Your questions answered
Like all credit unions, the Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union is a financial co-operative, owned and controlled by its members.
While credit unions offer many of the same services as High Street banks, they operate a different business model with members electing the directors. Any operating surplus generated from a credit union’s activities is either re-invested in the business or distributed among members by way of a dividend.
Worldwide, credit unions now control assets worth billions of pounds. However, the common ethos is providing ethical financial services to members.
Credit unions offer a range of savings accounts, with members choosing how much – or how little – they want to save. They also offer loan products suited to members’ needs, with the focus being on the member’s ability to afford repayments.
Surveys of customers at banks and credit unions have consistently shown a significantly higher customer satisfaction rate with the quality of service at credit unions.
A credit union is a community of its members, whose aims are to promote their financial wellbeing through savings, affordable and appropriate lending opportunities, and through the promotion of greater financial awareness. Members are the owners of the credit union and the pressure to generate profit for shareholder dividends is therefore greatly reduced. Any surpluses generated by the credit union are redistributed among the members, or retained to develop the business.
The structure and nature of a credit union frequently enables it to help those who are currently excluded from access to ordinary bank products. It can become a lifeline for people who may otherwise have to resort to payday loans or doorstep lending which often carry incredibly high interest rates.
However, credit unions can benefit savers and borrowers at all ends of the income ladder, with dividend rates often greater than interest rates offered by High Street banks to their savers.
Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union was formed in 2016 following the merger of South Wiltshire, North Wiltshire, West Wiltshire and Steam Ahead Credit Unions. We now operate across the whole of Wiltshire and Swindon. Our mission is to help people get on top of their finances by encouraging them to save money when times are good, so we can then make affordable loans available to them when necessary. We are owned and run by our members, which ensures that it is our members’ interests that always come first.
The Common Bond of Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union determines who can become a member of the organisation.
As a quick guide, admission to membership of Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union is restricted to all people, who live or work in Wiltshire area.
In addition, any individual who is a member of the same household as, and is a relative of, any person who is a member of the credit union and falls directly within a common bond specified above.
You can join Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union quickly and easily by completing the application form on this website.
Rather than receive a fixed interest rate on their savings, credit union members share in a dividend payment which is based on the surplus earned by the credit union over the course of the financial year.
The level of dividend is recommended by the board of directors and then agreed at the Annual General Meeting of Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union, which every member can attend. The level of dividend will usually vary from year to year, depending on how successful the credit union has been.
Absolutely. Like all major financial institutions, we are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS can pay compensation to depositors if an organisation is unable to meet its financial obligations. Find out more about this scheme here.
We are also authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. This means that we meet strict conditions for trading, we are required to submit information on our financial performance to the regulators every three months and our directors and senior staff are vetted by the regulators.
Looking to withdraw some of your savings?
It’s very easy for members to withdraw funds from their Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union account. You can apply online or call our offices on 01793 522216.
If you simply want to withdraw some funds from your savings you can do so by completing a share withdrawal form. Just log into your account and select the share withdrawal link from the online application form section.
All share withdrawal forms submitted by 2.30pm will be processed on that day, and funds will be sent that same evening by immediate payment to the designated account, and should appear there within 24 hours.
All share withdrawals received on weekends, public or bank holidays, or any other day that the credit union office is closed will be dealt with on the next day that the office is open.
Please note that you should only submit an online share withdrawal request when your savings balance is greater than any outstanding loan balance. Submission of a share withdrawal request does not guarantee payment.
Members must leave a minimum of £5 in your Share1 Regular Savings Account at all times.
Why not take a Secured Loan instead?
Instead of withdrawing your hard earned savings why not consider a Secured Loan, which allows you to keep all your hard-earned savings intact – and enjoy our lowest rate of interest.
Find our more about a Secured Loan with Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union.