Discovery Credit Union celebrates 15 years of service to its community
27 Jul 18
This week Discovery Credit Union (DCU) in Dundee celebrates its 15th Anniversary. Member Services Manager, Carole Smith has reflected on how they are an important asset to the community.
DCU was set up in response to the fact that 1 in 10 Dundonians in the early 2000s did not have access to financial services. In the last 15 years, DCU has issued more than 20,000 loans worth nearly £12 million to a total of 9,182 members.
However, Carole stresses that the services of Discovery are for everyone and not just those who can’t get regular bank accounts or lines of credit.
Carole said: "We have a wide range of members in varying circumstances. But the main thing is that we are for folk in the community, regardless of situation.
"If you go to the high street they're not interested in anything under about £7,500. Further down from that we have folk that simply don't need that much. Our typical loans are about £1,200 to £1,500.
“Credit Unions have existed in some form in the last 150 years but have become increasingly relevant with the advent of payday loans and doorstep lenders.
“We started out in community centers. Our collection points are still there and we won’t take them away. We know people appreciate the face-to-face contact and we get to know our members.
“Our savings and loans come with free life insurance and we try and encourage people to start savings. While banks are closing down more and more branches, we’re very happy to still be providing a service to people in the community.”
Originally set up in community halls across the city in September 2003, it now has a permanent home in the Central Library, from where it continues to be run by a volunteer board of directors and a small number of paid staff.