As part of the Trust's wider aims of working with local community organisations, NUST have launched a partnership with three Tyneside-based credit unions to offer Newcastle fans the opportunity to help their local communities with a specially-branded NUST savings account, which can give regular savers access to affordable short-term loans.
Nust have worked with the Bridges Community Bank, Northern Oak and Moneywise over the past 18 months – to bring this initiative to fruition so that anyone in the UK can join these credit unions.
The credit union movement is not widely understood in the UK and we are keen to help spread the word about the services these locally focused organisations offer so they can expand the good work they do in their local communities.
Once people join the credit union, it is like a normal high street bank and people can pay in money or withdraw their cash over the internet or at the branches of the credit unions.
This initiative is particular pertinent following predictions that the payday lending market may contract following the Financial Conduct Authority's cap on interest rates and fees for these lenders, and concerns that it may push people into the hands of loan sharks.
We hope that by encouraging supporters to open a NUST-branded savings account, it will give our credit unions access to more funds so that they are able offer affordable loans – with interest rates that are still considerably lower than those imposed by the FCA on payday lenders - to more people in their community.
TO OPEN A NUST-BRANDED SAVINGS ACCOUNT
(Please note that these - like all credit union savings accounts do not pay interest. However, as a member of a credit union you will be eligible for a dividend when the union pays one.)
Please Read our Frequently Asked Questions (Below) First
IF YOU LIVE OR WORK IN NEWCASTLE
MONEYWISE CREDIT UNION
187-189 SHIELDS ROAD Print off Application here
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, NE6 1DP Open an account online here
Tel : 0191 279 7963
IF YOU LIVE OR WORK IN NORTH TYNESIDE, NORTHUMBERLAND OR THE REST OF THE UK
NORTHERN OAK CREDIT UNION
72 HOWARD STREET Print off Application here
NE30 1AF Account info online here
Tel : 0191 296 2611
IF YOU LIVE OR WORK IN SOUTH TYNESIDE, DURHAM OR THE REST OF THE UK
BRIDGES CREDIT UNION
287 SUNDERLAND ROAD Print off Application here
NE34 6RB Open an account online here
Tel : 0191 454 7677
IF YOU LIVE OVERSEAS OR ARE AN OVERSEAS NATIONAL
If you want to open your account in person at your chosen credit union's office, you will need one of the following documents for proof of your identity:
• Current passport
• Full driving licence (with photo)
• Medical card
• Works ID card (with photo)
• Student ID card (with photo)
• Concessionary bus pass
...plus one of the following documents for proof of your address:
• Utility bill - a gas, electric, water or telephone bill (but not a mobile phone bill)
• Bank or credit card statement
• Post Office statement
• Council tax notice
All the above documents must show your current address and be no more than three months old. Please note that the same document cannot be accepted as proof of both ID and address.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can anyone open a NUST-branded savings account?
This special NUST account is open to anyone aged 16 years and over who live and work in the UK.
Do I earn any interest from the money I put in?
Credit Union do not pay any interest on their saving accounts, but they can pay dividends, depending on the level of profit they make each year. However the possible profit they can pay out has to be balanced against their commitment to providing low interest loans to all their members.
As a member of the credit union, you will have a say on this at the credit union's AGM.
How do I open an account?
All you need to do to join is pay £1 or £2 to join the credit union and another £4 to open your savings account .
You can open an account in person at the offices of the credit unions listed in this document, or online.(see above)
You'll be issued with your savings passbook and individual membership number.
There is an additional administration charge of £1.50 if you open your account online to offset the costs to verify your identity through a credit reference agency search. Please note that this search will leave a "footprint" on your credit record, but will not affect your credit score.
What is the minimum and maximum I can have in my account?
The minimum you can have in your account is £5 and the maximum is £15,000.
How can I save or add funds to my account?
You can save direct from your bank account through a standing order, or if you don't have a bank account you can save as often as you like - details of these are available at www.northernmoney.org.uk or you can call one of the numbers at the end of this document for more information,
You can also pay via Paypoint or by using your debit card by telephoning the credit union or using the credit unions' secure websites.
How safe is my money in this account?
Just like all UK banks and building societies, all your savings up to a maximum of £85,000 are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
This means that you would get all your money back should anything happen to the credit union.
Can I take money out from my savings account when I want it?
Yes. This is an instant access account and your money can be transferred directly to your bank account, usually within two hours of receiving your request.
Alternatively, you can receive your money in cash by visiting your credit union or they can send you a cheque.
However, you must keep a minimum of £5 in your account to remain a member of the credit union.
How do I keep track of my account?
As a member you will also be given a passbook with your own unique membership number when you join and this can be physically updated at any time by our staff.
In addition, a centralised computer record is kept at your credit union's head office.
You can also ring your credit union during their office hours (Monday to Friday between 9.30am – 3pm) and they can provide a balance over the phone after a couple of security questions to confirm your identity.
A hard copy statement of your account is automatically sent to you once a year, but these can be requested at any time.
Why did NUST choose a credit union to work with for this account?
The board of the Trust felt that it was important to support the work of these organisations, who in turn work to support their local communities.
Credit unions are a real alternative to bank deposit accounts and were set up as 'not for profit' financial co-operatives to help people in their local communities improve their financial position without being exploited by high interest rates.
The credit unions we have chosen to work with invest in local communities throughout the north east of England and Cumbria, so you can be assured that being a member of this credit union will help support people throughout the region.
Over one million people now save with Credit Unions in the UK alone; membership has more than doubled in the past ten years.
Many people save with credit unions if they don't have a bank account. An increasing number are "ethical" savers who want to make a difference by helping grow credit unions' capital so they can make more small loans to those who really need them, thereby keeping them out of the grips of the payday and doorstep lenders or illegal moneylenders.
How come I've never heard of credit unions?
Although the credit union movement was established in the 1960s in the UK, it is only recently that they have been seen as a real alternative to the excesses of the banks and the dangers of payday and doorstep lenders.
Credit unions' main aims are 'social benefit' rather than 'profit', which means that any profits they do make are ploughed back into providing low-cost, genuinely affordable loans to people who need them.
What is in this for NUST?
It is part of the Trust's wider aims of working with local community organisations.
NUST receive no interest or any other payments from the credit union for you having an account with them.
What is in it for the credit union?
The more members and the more money that a credit union has, the more able it is to fulfill its business aims and to lend money at affordable rates of interest for those that really need it.