LARNE Credit Union has vowed it will continue to support the financial wellbeing of its 5,476 members in the year ahead.
The not-for-profit organisation, which granted loans totalling £2,733,254 in 2012, is in “good shape” and well equipped to provide “a safe and secure home for savings and loans”, according to president Jim Long, in his address to the annual general meeting recently.
Declaring a one per cent dividend and 15 per cent rebate on savings and loans, Mr Long underlined the difference between credit unions and banks, explaining to members: “This is profit which is being returned to you, the members.”
The president added: “We exist to provide for the financial wellbeing of our members.
“To achieve this, we are committed to providing you with a range of services, supported by the excellent attention of a dedicated and well-trained staff.
“Like all financial institutions, credit unions now face into a period of transition and are required to adapt to tighter regulations.
“From March this year, we have come under the control of the Financial Services Authority and all our activities are now monitored by them.
“I am pleased to report that Larne Credit Union is in good shape and is well governed and run effectively by its directors and staff.”
Mr Long stressed: “Our aim is to help people, not make profit from them” and he was happy to report that membership had increased “at a steady rate” to 5,476 and 978 minors.
Staff and directors had taken training courses and both the general and bad debt reserves had been increased.
Looking to the future, Mr Long revealed that Larne Credit Union will engage with new technology while remaining grounded in its ethos.
He said: “Over the past 39 years we have laid down secure roots and build a solid platform for the provision of services to our members.
“The perception of what credit unions are in the world is changing and it is essential that we give our members a modern service in a changing financial world.
“If we intend to provide an efficient service in the future we must enter the digital age of the internet, iPhones, Facebook etc.”