ABCUL Board Profile - Director for London and the South East

Ian Atkins - Director for London and the South East (Joined ABCUL Board 2017)


Ian is the Chair of Planesaver Credit Union and has been involved with them since 1992 when he received an email enquiring if anyone was interested in forming a credit union at his employer, British Airways.

He became a founder member, taking responsibility for membership functions, and a Director when it started in 1993. He has mentored at DEEU and been a foster carer for over 20 years as well as a cricket coach, youth and community worker and chair and treasurer of his local Labour Party. 

At work he has been a shop steward and a health and safety representative. 

Why did you first get involved in credit unions?
I thought it was an ideal opportunity to create a mutual organisation for the benefit of my colleagues.

Why did you choose to stand for election to the ABCUL Board? 
Having been a supervisor on the board previously, I wanted to be involved on the board in discussions and contribute to making a difference in the way that the association was being perceived by the members.

What have you gained from being a member of the ABCUL Board?
Being on the board has giving me the opportunity to regularly meet and discuss /debate with colleagues who I consider to be some of the most ardent and passionate practitioners in the movement. It has also given me a personal wider view of the movement.

What have you been able to contribute to the ABCUL Board? 
I hope that I have been able to contribute in discussions and been able to put my view across. I also think that this is a question for other board members to answer, as there is not one thing, I could say was down to me. The board is a collection of thoughts which leads to discussion and agreement with the best interest of the movement and its members at its core.                                                                                                                      
What advice would you give to people considering standing for the ABCUL Board? 
The advice that I would give to anyone considering standing: -

  1. Talk to any current board members.
  2. Get an understanding of the role of a director of ABCUL and your responsibilities.
  3. Ensure that you can devote the time, as it takes personal commitment by yourself and also to the other members of the board.
  4. Be passionate about wanting to make a change and  to increase your knowledge of the credit union movement.
  5. Be confident in expressing your view and able to appreciate diversity in thought among your peers.