Monday, 13 April 2015

Savings, Loans, Payroll Deduction, Rules, and more! (13th April)

Easter 2015
We hope everyone had an enjoyable Easter break, even if it did seem to be over all too quickly.

Perhaps the better weather encouraged you to get cracking on some home or garden improvements.  Or maybe you're planning a holiday.   If so, don't forget we offer some very competitive rates on Dream Loans and Saver Loans.  If you would qualify for a loan from your bank and normally go direct to them,  please think of us and give us a chance to offer you a better deal.  

Remember, with a Credit Union loan the rate you see is the rate you pay, whereas banks tend to quote headline rates as "from...." which sometimes means you get a higher rate than you expected.

Half way through - how are we doing?
On 31 March we reached the half way stage of our Credit Union's financial year.   So, our member-owners may be wondering, how’s it all going so far?

Here's a few facts and figures:

·        Membership – 11,329 – up 5.5% on a year ago
·        Junior Savers – 1,147 – up 10% on a year ago
·        Members' Savings and Deposits - £7,569,270 – up 12% on a year ago.

Our members are still trusting us with more and more of their savings, which is brilliant.  But, by contrast, our loan book has remained fairly flat, which is a little surprising considering our highly competitive rates, starting as low as 4% APR.   Unlike the big banks, credit unions can’t afford to spend mega bucks on advertising.  Instead, we need all our members to help us by spreading the word about our loans, and what a fantastic deal they are.  

On the income and expenditure front, we’re having a much better year.  Our income (which comes from loan interest, contract income, fees and charges and grants) has grown by 7% compared with the first half of last year; while our expenditure (running costs like pay, premises, banking charges and administration) is only up by 1.6%.    We therefore remain on track to return to profitability before year end, in line with our Business Plan.

Please support your Credit Union to the maximum extent as we work hard to put HEYCU on a sustainable path so that it can serve many generations to come.

Christmas Saver campaign 2015
This year’s Christmas Saver campaign was a great success, with nearly 300 new accounts opened to qualify for a £10 matched bonus.   188 of the new accounts were opened by Hull residents and 99 in the East Riding.   With savers from the 2014 campaign continuing this year, that means we now have over 1,200 Christmas Savers all planning ahead for a happy festive season!  Oh, and by the way, it’s not too late to start saving if you haven’t already.

Rule Amendments registered
Last week the regulators - the Financial Conduct Authority – informed us that the rule amendments members voted for at the AGM 2014 have been registered, and are therefore now in force.   You can find a complete set of the new rules on our website.

Just to remind you, the rule changes:
·        added Your Headrow Housing Group to our common bond;
·        established a new process for dealing with expulsion of members; and
·        replaced the Supervisory Committee with a new Audit Committee of the Board.

Our Audit Committee held its first meeting on 30 March to begin its new role of overseeing the internal and external audit of our credit union, to safeguard our assets and operations for you, our members, and strive to improve on the way things are done.

Hull College staff benefits 
On Tuesday 14 April, two of our staff members - Marlene and Zoe - will be attending a Staff Benefits Fair at Hull College in Queens Gardens, Hull.  

The College, with branches in Hull and Goole, has decided to offer its employees the opportunity to save with our Credit Union by payroll deduction.

Several other employers - such as Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the HICA Group - offer this facility and it’s tremendously popular.   Members who use it say it is a really painless way to do some regular saving because the money is taken from their pay before they get it.  So they don't miss it!  It’s also great for “secret saving”.  Once the payroll deduction is set up, it just keeps on happening each time the member gets paid, until they decide to change or cancel it.   At HEYCU lots of members have built up thousands of pounds worth of savings over the 16 years that we've been around, by this very simple, handy method.  Many have told us that until we came along they'd never managed to save at all.

We look forward to serving lots of Hull College staff in the same way, and we will also be there for them if they need to borrow.

Watch out for a campaign to recruit more employers to our payroll partnership - perhaps the firm where you work would like to offer this - maybe you could ask them?

Easter Competition
Congratulations to Evan Sands, the winner of our First Saver competition to design a “smart card”.  Evan’s fine efforts earned him a giant Chocolate Easter Egg which we trust he enjoyed.  Watch out for the next Junior Saver competition – coming soon!

Start them young with our First Saver!
Want to offer the special children in your life a way to look after their money wisely.   Our First Saver account is an ideal choice.  Check it out on our website.

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