Making your savings work for you!
The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Credit Union (BFAWCU) is open to all members or employees of the Union. It gives members the opportunity as a group of people in a common bond to save together and lend to each other at a reasonable rate of interest.
The BFAWCU offers members the chance to have control over their finances by making their own savings work for them. Regular savings form a common pool of money which in turn provides many benefits for members.
The Credit Union exists only to serve its members, not to profit from them. It is non-sectarian, non-political and continues the tradition of co-operative self-help.
Each member becomes an owner of the Credit Union
Every person who saves with the BFAWCU automatically becomes an owner and has a say in its running. Each member has one vote in the running of the Credit Union. As a democratic financial co-operative, the Credit Union is controlled by its members.
Benefits of membership
Most financial institutions are in the business primarily to make a profit. Your Credit Union is different. The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Credit Union is in business solely to help its members. It is owned by its members and regulates its affairs in the best interests of its members. As a member of the Credit Union you can enjoy many benefits including:
- control over your own finances
- encouragement and advice on a regular savings programme
- loan availability at relatively low rates of interest, which remains consistent even during times of economic turbulence
- security of savings through the Credit Unions Fidelity Bond
How can I withdraw my shares?
Withdrawals can be made at any time. You must complete a Share Withdrawal Form which is available from the Credit Union Administration Office or from your local Credit Union representative.
Please remember that at certain times we deal with a large number of payments, so plenty of notice is always appreciated.
We do not deal in cash – all payments are made by cheque, or by direct credit to your bank account.
How do I know how much I have saved?
Just call the Credit Union Administration Office – if you quote your membership number we will give you your balance, once you have answered a few questions to confirm your identity. We will also send you an annual statement of your account.
What guarantee do I have that my share savings are safe?
All your savings are insured at no cost to you. Our Supervisory Committee, who are Credit Union members, can come to the office at any time and inspect the books of account.
We are also registered with the Financial Conduct Authority who require us to complete forms showing how we are managing your money, and make regular submissions regarding our financial position.
At the end of each year, our accounts are certified by independent auditors. They make a report which is presented at our Annual General Meeting for members. Copies are always available for those who request them.
You can also open an account for a child under the age of eighteen. You can obtain a Junior Account Application Form from your local contact or direct from the Credit Union. On the form you just have to give us your name and BFAWCU membership number, along with the name, address and date of birth of the child for whom you’re opening the account, and details of how deposits will be paid. You will be able to make withdrawals from this account but no loans can be based upon the savings in it. You undertake to assign control of the account to the child concerned when he/she reaches eighteen.
When can I apply for a loan?
You can ask for a loan application when you have been saving for 3 months.
How much can I borrow?
During your first year of membership you may apply for loans of up to twice the value of your shares, providing that the total amount of the loan does not exceed £3000.
During your second year of membership you may apply for loans of up to three times the value of your shares, again providing that the total amount of the loan does not exceed the value of £3,000.
After the second year of membership, you may apply for loans of up to £3,000 in excess of the shares you hold.
Please note that Loan approval is not automatic, our Credit Committee must look at each application, and make sure you can afford the repayments.
What happens to my savings when I have a loan?
We would prefer you to continue to save at your normal rate, but you must continue to save at least £2 per week, or £10 per month as you repay your loan. Your savings are frozen as security against your loan. Your savings still belong to you, but you cannot withdraw them until you have saved more than the loan you owe. So, the more you can save whilst you are repaying your loan, the sooner your savings are released to you.
Becoming a member
Joining the BFAWU Credit Union is easy. If you are over 16 years of age and are within the common bond as a BFAWU member, all you have to do is apply for membership. Once accepted you pay an initial, small membership fee and, thereafter, a small fee each year to cover general administration. This membership fee will be taken from your first monthly savings payment. After this, you must save a minimum of £2 per week or £10 per month. You can save more than this if you want or you can change the amount you save at any time.
The Credit Union is to publish a business plan which is to be presented to their AGM. Click here to see a draft copy.
For more information about the Credit Union, you can:
• Speak to your local Union representative
• Contact the Credit Union Administration Office:
Great North Road
Welwyn Garden City
Herts AL8 7TA
Bakers Food & Allied Workers Credit Union Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA Number 213873
Registered Office: Stanborough House, Great North Road, Stanborough, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL8 7TA