I am writing these notes soon after our credit union’s year end (30 September) and putting the finishing touches to our draft annual accounts, which have now gone off to the auditors. It’s been a different kind of year, that’s for sure, but we have made some more progress, thanks to the loyalty of our members and the hard work of our team!
MAKING IT EASIER FOR OUR MEMBERS
Long before Covid hit our shores, we were planning some changes to the way we operate, to make it even easier to join, save, borrow, and manage your accounts with us. Investing to improve our technology systems was a key goal of our 3-year Business Plan 2019-22, and we’ve been busy behind the scenes doing just that! Here are some improvements we hope Members are now noticing:
1 We’ve replaced the old Members’ Area on the website with our new Web App
Old Members’ Area
New Web App
Not suitable to use on smartphones and tablets
Is easy to use on any device – desk computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone.
Only showed balances correct to the end of the last working day
Shows correct balances on all your CU accounts 24/7
Didn’t let you make withdrawals
Enables same day withdrawals to your designated bank account
Didn’t let you apply for a loan
Apply for a loan at the touch of a button
Didn’t let you send an enquiry, change your payroll deduction or amend personal details
Allows all those
Over 40% of members have registered to use our Web App. If you haven’t done so already, here’s how. If you need more help to register or get started, or if you are having problems with the Web App, don’t hesitate to call us on 01482 778753 (M-F) – our friendly team will offer you some kind and patient help to sort it.
2 We’ve introduced a new Online “Join and Borrow” system
An easier to
complete online application form;
· A more streamlined process for providing supporting information (in many cases you may not need to provide documents at the time of applying);
· Better feedback by email to let you know the progress of your application (but you must register a valid email address with us to allow this and check your spam folder if you don’t hear back);
· A secure signing facility for top up or repeat loans;
· Same day despatch of funds for approved loans to your bank.
3 We now take Loan Applications by telephone
With branches operating in a more restricted way, we wanted to ensure that members who prefer a more personal service were not deterred from applying. You can call 01482 778753 from 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday to apply.
Our branches in Hull, Scunthorpe, Bridlington, Goole and Withernsea are all open again (for times see here), operating in a Covid-safe way. It’s been lovely to welcome members back into branch as our staff team have missed them. They also appreciated the kind messages of support that many members sent.
I am happy to announce that Driffield branch will reopen from 8th October, every Thursday from 9.30 am to 12 .30 pm in the Council Offices, Market Walk. Beverley Cherry Tree branch will also reopen very soon.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
LoansWe know Christmas will be different this year, with possible restrictions on family gatherings
and many of the festive events that we always look forward to unable to take place. But I am sure we’ll all do our best to give our families and friends the best possible time.
Here at HEY Credit
Union we’re already busy helping our members to plan a wonderful
Christmas. Since the start of September,
there’s been a big influx of Loan applications, suggesting that members are
anxious to get their Christ
mas shopping sorted much earlier than usual.
We have a fantastic Refer a Friend Offer to tell you about. If any Member refers a friend or colleague to apply to us for a Christmas Loan, we’ll enter both of you (Member + Friend) into our super Prize Draw to each win a £50 SHOPPING VOUCHER.
There’s lots of great reasons to Refer a Friend to apply for a Christmas Loan with us, so don’t delay, do them (and yourself) a favour and do it today!
Our Christmas Saver accounts will be open for withdrawals from 1st November. From that date, you’ll be able to arrange transfers to bank direct via the Web App too. Our thrifty members have once again saved up nearly £1 million in this popular account. Together, we’ve got Christmas sorted!
OUR MEMBER SURVEY
Thank you to all members who kindly gave us feedback in our 2020 Member Survey. While the number of replies was much lower than in 2019 (probably you had other things to think about!), their tone was just as encouraging. Here are some highlights:
· 98% said they are likely to recommend HEY Credit Union to people they know;
· 78% thought it important that HEY Credit Union has a branch presence in various parts of our region;
· 72% said Covid hadn’t impacted very much on their interaction with us.
· The feeling that we are ethical, local, friendly and different from corporate banks came over strongly.
You can read a summary of responses here.
I have replied personally to those members who raised specific queries or concerns. One wrote back to express surprise that we actually read their comments! Well, that’s the Credit Union difference. As member-owners we always value your feedback and try to help if we can.
CHILD TRUST FUNDS START MATURING
The Government gave children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011 money in a Child Trust Fund (CTF) to encourage them to save for the future.
Those turning 18 up before 31 August 2021 can now start to access their CTF cash. As one of the CTF providers, with over 220 accounts and £200,000 saved, we’ve already paid out our first two! We are proud to have helped the young people in our region to start their adult life with some savings to support their ambitions.
SCHOOL BANKS ON HOLD
Unfortunately, the restrictions on volunteers entering schools and handling cash mean that we’re unable to operate any Pennies 2 Pounds School Banks for the foreseeable future. We’ve asked the schools to publicise alternative ways for families to deposit, withdraw and contact us.
You can pay into Junior Saver accounts direct from your bank, by standing order or in branch. Contact our friendly team for bank details.
COULD YOU BE A HEY CREDIT UNION DIRECTOR?We are looking for more directors to join our Board. It’s a voluntary role that would appeal to anyone who is passionate about co-operative/credit union values, with some time and determination to help us build on our success. We’re particularly keen to hear from people with skills/experience in technology, human resources and marketing. You wouldn’t have to live or work near our Hull base, as meetings are now held by video/tele-conference. Take a look at our director profile here and/or contact me for an informal chat (email@example.com) – you could make all the difference!
OUR AGM WILL BE DIFFERENT THIS YEAR
We’ll be holding our Members’ AGM 2020 on Tuesday 8th December at 5.45 pm. It will be a great opportunity for members to find out how we’ve been doing this year and learn about our exciting plans for the future. Due to restrictions on face to face meetings this year, this will be our first ever online AGM! We will be doing our very best to make it as accessible as possible for our members, so please keep the date free and watch out for news – in early November - of how to register.
COUNCIL STAFF SAVE AS THEY EARN
Recently I recorded a podcast for the staff at East Riding of Yorkshire Council telling them of the benefits of joining our Save as You Earn scheme.
Hundreds of staff at our four local authorities already save with us direct from their pay, and this year they’ve increased their savings by 15% on average. Podcasts are a modern and popular way of conveying information to their staff. If any other employer would like us to record one, please get in touch.
INTERNATIONAL CREDIT UNION DAY
On Thursday 15th October we’ll be joining with our credit union friends all over the world to celebrate International Credit Union Day. It’s a day to reflect on the proud history of our Credit Union Movement, promote all that it has achieved, recognise the hard work of credit unionists and celebrate the massive difference it has made to the financial wellbeing of people and families everywhere.
Keep an eye on our social media pages that day – there’ll be some surprises for our members!
That’s about it, until next time – keep safe and well and don’t forget to Refer a Friend!