Great Western Credit Union (GWCU) has announced it has completed its merger with Stroud Valleys Credit Union (SVCU), with a wide range of low-cost financial services now available to members in the Stroud District.
With aims to significantly increase membership, GWCU will also help to improve and modernise services in the local area. As the biggest credit union in South West England, GWCU now has a combined total of more than 21,000 members across Bristol, Bath, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, as well as around £11m in saving deposits.
The transfer of engagements was concluded on 20th July, with all assets and liabilities of the Gloucestershire-based credit union being transferred to GWCU. Last year, SVCU members were invited to a Special General Meeting, where the vast majority of attendees voted in favour of the merger. As part of GWCU, members will receive faster and more online services. The Gloucestershire and Stroud area has long been associated with green politics, services and policies with Stroud District Council recently achieving 10th place out of 400 local authorities in Great Britain and Northern Ireland for its role in addressing the climate crisis.
The credit unions had a longstanding working relationship as the membership areas adjoined one another, with GWCU often guiding SVCU on topics such as applying for grant funding, implementing IT and launching new accounts. GWCU will provide an alternative to high-interest lenders on the high street as money from the credit union’s services directly benefits local people, businesses and the community.
James Berry, CEO of Great Western Credit Union, said: “The merger with Stroud Valleys Credit Union allows us to offer our services to more people across South West England. Gloucestershire and Stroud are renowned for their passion for an ethical approach and green services and with Great Western Credit Union as an ethical and sustainable financial organisation, we think this is a perfect match.
“We are looking forward to working with our new partners to further help build people’s financial resilience across South West England.”
Andy Moy, Chairman at Stroud Valleys Credit Union, said: “This merger is a fantastic opportunity to modernise the service we offer our members. As one of the UK’s smallest credit unions, it was increasingly difficult for SVCU to appeal to the next generation. Becoming part of our region’s largest means far more of our community gets to know about and benefit from saving and borrowing with their local credit union.”
The news follows GWCU’s merger with Wyvern Savings and Loans in March 2021, where they have since added more than 1,250 new members from the Dorset and Somerset area. In recent years, digital transformation has continued to be a key goal with the credit union announcing that it is looking to improve the usability and efficiency of its platforms. Find out more about GWCU: https://greatwesterncu.org/