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Opportunities Ahead and Significant Change for the Movement Highlighted at ABCUL Conference

Last week, over 200+ ABCUL Members returned to the Midland Hotel in Manchester for the Association’s annual conference event.

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Friday 26 January 2024

Last week, over 200+ ABCUL Members returned to the Midland Hotel in Manchester for the Association’s annual conference event.

Expert speakers within the financial movement spoke to delegates in the form of plenary, breakout  and young professional master class sessions providing content uniquely relevant to the needs of credit unions of all shapes and sizes.

Opening the conference, ABCUL President, Paul Norgrove welcomed delegates to Manchester. He acknowledged the challenges which remain in place for the sector to navigate, but equally was excited for the movement to grasp opportunities ahead and work collaboratively to deliver real change.

There was a wide range of workshop sessions aimed at sharing best practice and raising awareness of key issues impacting credit unions and their members, including research on payroll & benefit deduction lending from Fair4All Finance, implementing consumer duty, and a focus on credit unions working through the cost-of-living crisis.

A significant highlight of day-one was the special plenary in which the British chapter of the Global Women’s Leadership Network relaunched (full story available here).

Closing the first day of the conference, delegates heard from the FCA’s Head of Department in Consumer Finance Division, Martha Stokes, who spoke about how credit unions can ensure their business is built around great outcomes for members. As well as this regulatory update, Head of Division- UK Deposit Takers at the PRA, Dele Adeleye, joined to discuss what will be a year of significant change for British credit unions regarding legislative reform, and the path to sustainability.

The evening gave opportunities for credit unions to celebrate the successes and achievements within the movement, which included the Credit Union Foundation’s, CU Futures graduation (full story is available here) and ABCUL President, Paul Norgrove presented annual awards which acknowledge members who have made a significant impact in the credit union movement.

The Kirit Patel Award for outstanding contribution to an ABCUL Forum was presented to Steve Brown of Just Credit Union. The award for outstanding contribution of a young person in the credit union movement – The Tracy Slane Award – was presented to Sean Lynch of City Save Credit Union. Finally, for the first time at the ABCUL conference, the Dolores Beckford Award was presented to Jas Kaur of Penny Post Credit Union. The award is open to women of colour who are in a leadership role in an ABCUL credit union, or who have been recognised by their ABCUL credit union as having leadership potential.

ABCUL CEO, Robert Kelly said: “ABCUL would like to thank all our supporters, partners and sponsors for making the event a success. We would like to recognise CMutual for their continued support and sponsorship at the ABCUL Annual Conference 2023.”

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