Two credit unions have joined together to increase services to customers.
Northumberland Credit Union (NCU) has merged with NEFirst Credit Union following unanimous approval from members at two meetings for a transfer of engagements proposal from the NCU Board.
Although NCU was in sound financial shape, the board felt that being part of a larger well-established body would ensure a better service for members in the county.
NEFirst Credit Union, which already covers County Durham and Tyne and Wear, has around 15,000 members, holds savings of £4.5million and has around £3.5million out on loan.
It has offices in Birtley, Durham City, Gateshead and North Shields, and will be retaining NCU’s Morpeth office.
Nic Best, the outgoing chairman of NCU, who will be representing Northumberland members to the NEFirst CU Board, said: “The NCU Board chose NEFirst CU because of its experience working in rural areas of County Durham and because, despite its size, it still works to maintain links with local communities.
“The existing NCU paying-in points will, in the main, continue to operate, with the prospect of more if volunteers come forward.
“NEFirst CU also operates some Local Action Groups in County Durham, which help to embed the credit union in the local community, and I am excited at introducing and developing this model into Northumberland.
“I’d like to thank all the partner organisations that have worked with NCU – town and parish councils, housing associations, the CABx and the county council – and I hope they will continue to work positively and fruitfully with NEFirst CU in Northumberland.”