Community Support a Key Priority for Wave Community Bank

By cunews posted 4 days ago


Wave Community Bank (WCB) has published its social impact report, articulating the true value of the services it provides to its members and communities.

The report highlighted the credit union’s support to help fight financial exclusion and poverty by working in partnership with local authorities, agencies, and charities to provide financial services to many vulnerable people in its community.  Over 9,000 people have now joined WCB, and in 2022 the credit union issued 623 loans of values under £1,500, saving members £305,000 in interest compared to doorstep lenders and they kept this money in the local community.

“We encourage all our members to get into the habit of saving, however small the amount,” says CEO of Wave Community Bank, Ann Hickey. WCB membership have saved a total of £4.5m, with 62 member accounts totalling £170,000. Ann added: “Having saving helps our members cope better with financial shocks. We work to turn borrowers into savers as all our loans have a savings element to the repayments and for many of our borrowers, this is the first time they have a savings pot.”

As well as its day-to-day operation, WCB work in partnership with other local organisations to ensure that everyone can access financial services. In October 2022, WCB launched discounted bus fares for members with Arriva throughout West Kent and Medway. Members can save up to 20% on bus ticket costs. This is in addition to its discounted Brighton & Hove Buses annual tickets and Freedom Leisure annual membership. 207 members have saved on discounted bus travel with Brighton and Hove Buses in 2022, saving a total of £27,610.

Also highlighted in the report, WCB is doing its utmost to support members during the difficult cost-of-living crisis. Ann said:  “We meet regularly with council and agency representatives across East Sussex to ensure collaborative working to help residents across the county.

We’re playing an active role in the Cost-of-Living Summits and Action Groups lead by Brighton & Hove City Council and Lewes District Council. These groups aim to create strategies involving local authorities and agencies to focus on delivering real support for people at this time.”

Read all about how WCB is helping members and local community in the report.