It’s just over a month since ABCUL welcomed credit unions from all over the world to our annual conference to set out our Vision 2025 – an ambitious document that set out the sector’s desire to be a ‘digital first’ provider of financial services for all by 2025. Little did we know that, within a few days, we’d be at out desks making plans to be an almost wholly digital sector by the end of the following week….
The Corona virus has hit everyone hard, and it’s been no different for credit unions. However, over the past few weeks we’ve seen credit unions adapt, accommodate, and innovate in every way they can to ensure they can continue to serve members. Thanks to a rapid embracing of new technology, members should still be able to access their credit union accounts. Those who are not ready to move to an app should still be able to access some services in a branch, albeit with significant changes and restrictions to protect our staff and volunteers. We also seen credit unions take additional steps to accommodate the new reality we all face – from changing opening hours to help those on the front line, to doing what they can to help those facing lockdown alone.
It’s clear that the COVID 19 is going to hit many peoples finances hard, and we’re already thinking through what we as a sector can do to help in the coming months. All credit unions are very clear that those who are struggling and who cannot continue payments should speak to their credit union, and you can be assured that they will be sympathetic and do what they can to help.
If you’ve never been a member of a credit union before, but you recognise that its more important than ever to built up a savings pot, be able to access affordable, ethical loans, from an organisation that cares about your community, now’s a great time to consider joining – you can find one here. Many credit unions can now offer you ability to lend and save straight from your salary, and it makes a real difference to know you have that cushion, as we look towards the uncertain months ahead of us.