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The Co-op Credit Union celebrate Co-operatives Fortnight

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29 Jun 18

Running from 23 June to 7 July, this week Co-operatives UK celebrate the success of co-operatives across the UK. The Co-op Credit Union this week welcomed their newest member, CEO of the Co-op Group, Steve Murrells

First introduced back in 2010, Co-operatives Fortnight has gone from strength to strength, celebrating cooperatives across the UK and this year cooperatives our showing the world the difference they make to people’s lives.

Co-operatives UK this week released their Co-op Economy report which provides an overview of the UK’s co-operative economy. The report revealed that new co-ops have an 80% survival rate compared to 44% than other non-co-op firms.

More positive statistics for co-ops are that although 93% of companies remain in existence after their first year, this decreases to 76% after their second year and then falls it a 61% after the third year. However co-ops survival rates of 96% - 91% - 87% after three years of existence.

The report also highlights how the UK’s 7,226 independent co-ops turned over £36.1bn last year, contributing 1.9% to the UK’s GDP of £1.9tn. This represents an increase from the £35.2bn in turnover in the previous year. Co-ops also employ 235,000 people, compared to 226,000 in 2017. Credit unions contribute almost 2m to the total membership of cooperatives, with the membership of cooperatives now standing at a 13m in 2018.

Co-operatives UK secretary general, Ed Mayo, said: “We know co-operatives are resilient and sustainable businesses and these incredible stats reinforce that view. It begs the question ‘why are there not more co-operatives?’”.

The Co-op Credit Union have this week celebrated Cooperative Fortnight and attended different events in Manchester that welcomed CEO of the Co-op Group, Steve Murrells as its newest member. Speaking of the credit union and Co-operatives Fortnight, Steve said: “Since their beginning they have now lent £30m to its members up and down the country. It’s a great example of how co-ops do things differently.

“I have signed up today because it is important the co-op ground do have a connection, in that it is a way responsibly getting credits and why shouldn’t we do it in a way with an organisations that is so affiliated with the co-op.

“My encouragement is to sign up to a credit union as it is the best way to saving your money and or getting the most helpful way of borrowing money for your needs and to help you get on with life”.

President of the National Members’ Council for the Co-op Group and member of The Co-op Credit Union, Nick Crofts spoke of the importance of credit unions, he said: “I am a huge believer in the value and power of credit unions. The £30m borrowed to colleagues and family members of cooperatives is an extraordinary accomplishment which I am very proud of. The credit union has that cooperative difference absolutely in its heat and its core”.

In an interview with Co-op news this week, Operations Manager at the Co-op Credit Union, Andy Davey describes his favourite example where the credit union has made a difference to people lives. Andy says: “I feel credit unions are one of the better examples of co-operation: we encourage members to save.

“Approximately five years ago, we started to work with and promote Co-op Energy. Credit unions members and their family and friends could use a link on our website to compare the costs they are paying for energy prices. Not only did this highlight the work of the credit union to others, but we also managed to save our members and their families over £10,000 on the cost of their energy bills.”

To read Andy’s full interview, please click here.

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