Sharing the secret Scotland s Credit Union Conference Friday 25 November 2011 The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

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1 Sharing the secret Scotland s Credit Union Conference Friday 25 November 2011 The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

2 Sharing the secret This conference is all about sharing the best kept secret in Scottish financial services credit unions. Locally owned and run and without the lavish marketing budgets of profit-driven banks or high cost lenders, credit unions have not always been familiar to all the people who could benefit from their services. A credit union is a financial co-operative which provides savings, loans and a range of services to its members. Credit unions share the co-operative ethos of people helping people, and because they are owned by their own users and not by external shareholders or investors, the emphasis is always on providing the best service for members; not maximising profits from them. Scotland is the heart of the British credit union sector with 1 in 20 Scots belonging to their local credit union, rising to 1 in 5 in the City of Glasgow. It is here in Scotland that British credit unions are best demonstrating their internationally-proven potential. Around the world, there are 188 million members in 53,000 credit unions in 100 countries. In the USA, Canada, Australia and Ireland, over a quarter of the population are credit union members. So with 250,000 Scots benefitting from credit union membership today, ABCUL the Association of British Credit Unions Limited is delighted to announce the first ABCUL Scotland Conference. This conference gives us the chance to look at some of the opportunities and challenges facing the Scottish credit union sector and to cast our minds forward to a credit union sector of the future. There has never been a more exciting time for Scottish credit unions. With new legislation now only a few months away and the UK Government at Westminster considering the case for investing a further 73 million in the sector s modernisation and expansion, there are some major opportunities for the sector to grow, develop and reach out to assist more and more people in taking control of their finances. We take a look at these major opportunities and what they mean for Scottish credit unions. And we will explore just some of the ways in which the movement helps Scottish people in workshops around supporting social tenants, partnerships with money advice services and building financial capability. But credit unions are not immune to the economic situation and the public belt-tightening that we are all so familiar with nor can they provide limitless support to those in financial difficulties. So we ll examine some of the challenges facing the sector with workshops around future Local Authority support, the question of responsible lending and the credit union interest rate and the tension between socially-responsible lending and personal insolvency. It s time to share Scottish financial services best kept secret. We look forward to welcoming you to the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow for what is sure to be an interesting and inspiring conference. Mark Lyonette Chief Executive

3 Conference Programme 9.00am 10.00am Registration, Tea & Coffee Welcome and Introduction 10.10am Plenary Session 1: Sharing the credit union secret This session will set the scene for the conference and introduce some of the key themes for the day, including: How Scotland s credit unions have developed over the years; The changes on the horizon that could see a step-change in the growth and scale of Scotland s credit union movement, and; How credit unions can be part of the solution to challenges facing other sectors in civic society am Workshops A-D Debate Session noon Lunch 1.15pm Plenary Session 2: New legislation, new opportunities This session will look in more detail at how the forthcoming legislative reform order will allow credit unions to do more for more people, including: More flexible membership rules making it easier to partner with employers and social landlords, and; The opportunity to serve charities, community groups, social enterprises and businesses. 2.00pm Workshops A-D Debate Session pm Tea and Coffee 3.30pm Plenary Session 3: The future for credit unions What does the future hold for Scotland s credit union movement, and can partnerships be built to help address some of the current challenges facing people across Scotland and in all walks of life? An expert panel will take your questions and offer their views. 4.30pm Conference Close Workshops and debate sessions Delegates can choose to attend two of four workshops which will explore the potential for partnership working between credit unions and related sectors. All four workshops will run in both the morning and the afternoon. Alternatively, delegates may choose to attend one or both of the debate sessions which will run in the same timeslots as the workshops. These debates will ask some of the more controversial questions facing credit unions and related sectors and will hopefully generate some lively debate. Each debate session will run only once (see conference programme). Workshop A: Can credit unions help sustain tenancies? Tenants with access to savings and affordable loans are good news for social landlords and could be a substantial new membership for credit unions. This workshop will look at examples of what has been done and ideas of what else could be done to build this mutually beneficial relationship. Workshop B: Can credit unions and money advisers work in partnership? Credit unions are always concerned with their members financial welfare, so as more and more people turn to the advice sector with mounting debt problems, what can be done to grow understanding and co-operation between credit unions and advisors and build a partnership which benefits people in financial difficulty? Workshop C: What role can credit unions play in building financial capability? Credit unions embrace their statutory duty to improve their members financial capability since a financially literate and confident population should be good news for everyone. In times of economic instability and uncertainty, what role can credit unions play in providing financial education in schools and building financial capability for adults? Workshop D: How can local authorities support credit unions? Local councils have a key role to play in making credit union services accessible to all, and a vibrant credit union movement can help councils meet their single outcome agreements. In challenging economic times, what can local authorities do to promote credit unions to their residents? Debate Session 1: Interest rates and risk How high is too high? Credit unions provide affordable loans at ethical rates, but where do we draw the line between social responsibility and responsible lending, and should we be reviewing how we operate? Debate Session 2: Debt and insolvency The knock-on effect As more and more people face financial difficulties and many turn to debt relief, what are the implications for all parties concerned; the individual debtor, the advice sector, service providers and creditors? Does a credit union s aim to serve the whole community leave it disproportionately exposed to Trust Deeds and bankruptcies, and what needs to change?

4 Scotland s Credit Union Conference Registration Form Please complete one form per delegate. **Name: **Credit Union/Organisation: **Postal Address: **Postcode: **Contact Number: ** **Job Title: Additional dietary & mobility requests: ** In order to process your booking form please complete all the above mandatory fields. All fields need to be completed to process your booking. Places for sessions will be allocated subject to available space and where possible we will aim to offer your first choice option. Confirmation of your booking will be ed to you. Morning Sessions 1 st Choice 2 nd Choice Workshop A [ ] [ ] Workshop B [ ] [ ] Workshop C [ ] [ ] Workshop D [ ] [ ] Debate Session 1 [ ] [ ] Afternoon Sessions 1 st Choice 2 nd Choice Workshop A [ ] [ ] Workshop B [ ] [ ] Workshop C [ ] [ ] Workshop D [ ] [ ] Debate Session 2 [ ] [ ] Cost and Payment All costs include a buffet lunch and refreshments. Credit Union Delegate Public and Third Sector Delegate (social landlords, advice sector, charities, social enterprises, etc) Private Sector Delegate To assist with the organisation of the event please return your booking by Friday 18 November. [ ] Cheque: I enclose a cheque made payable to ABCUL for the sum of [ ] BACS: Sort code: , Account No The Co-operative Bank plc, 1 Balloon Street, Manchester, M60 4EP Quote name of your credit union as reference, and advise ABCUL that you are paying by BACS. Alternatively you can log on to register for the conference at Please return completed forms and cheques to: ABCUL Conferences Holyoake House Hanover Street Manchester M60 0AS IPS Reg 23136R Vat Reg GB Notes: Complete one form per person Fill in all requirements To qualify for the credit union rate, you must be attending on behalf of a credit union. Attach payment cheques payable to ABCUL We regret that we are unable to refund booking fees if you are unable to attend however substitute delegates are welcome.

5 Who should attend? This first ABCUL Scotland Conference presents the best ever opportunity for credit union representatives to join delegates from UK, Scottish and local government, the advice sector, social landlords, employers, academics, educationalists, journalists, social enterprises, co-operatives, charities, faith groups, consumer bodies, the financial sector, the business community and local community groups to explore how we can work together to make ethical financial services an option for people and organisations across Scotland. This conference is for anyone with an interest in growing the credit union movement, diversifying Scotland s financial services market, tackling financial exclusion, widening access to affordable credit and building financial capability. The conference will be held at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow (pictured right), perfectly located in the heart of Scotland s largest city with direct access from Glasgow Central Station and just a short walk from Glasgow Queen Street Station, bus stops for many services and convenient car parking. We have worked hard to keep delegate fees low: 40 for credit union delegates 50 for public sector and third sector delegates 60 for private sector delegates (see booking sheet) ABCUL The Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) is the main trade association for credit unions in Scotland, England and Wales. As a co-operative itself, ABCUL is owned, funded and democratically controlled by its member credit unions. The majority of Scotland's credit unions are ABCUL members, and they in turn serve the majority of Scotland's individual credit union members. ABCUL represents the interests of Scotland's credit unions to the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, local authorities, the media, and other Scottish agencies and organisations. It provides its members with information and guidance, conferences and training, consultancy expertise, and an in increasing range of products and affinity schemes, including the Credit Union Current Account and the Credit Union Prepaid Card. ABCUL's Scottish member credit unions also receive the full benefit of our policy work with the UK Government, regulators and other British agencies, as well as the benefit of sharing resources and best practice with hundreds of credit union practitioners across Britain.

6 The Credit Union Prepaid Card now available from ABCUL The Credit Union Prepaid Card is a flexible, low-cost Visa Prepaid Card. The card has been designed exclusively for credit union members and is available only to credit unions. For credit union members the product is a simple, safe and inexpensive way to participate in an increasingly card-based economy. For credit unions, it's a way of expanding their product range and a convenient way to issue loans and reduce cash holdings. Unlike other prepaid cards, the Credit Union Prepaid Card can be issued and loaded, and even replaced, instantly at the counter. Members can apply and receive their card and PIN within minutes, ready to use in shops and online just like any other Visa card. To find out more about the Credit Union Prepaid Card, visit the ABCUL stand, call us on , or Low cost One off purchase fee No monthly or annual fees Low everyday fees (50p to load; free at point of sale, including cashback; 75p at UK ATMs) No hidden costs Fully featured Instant loading and issue from the credit union ATM and point of sale with cashback Cardholder website, SMS functions, central contact centre support and fraud monitoring Easy settlement process. No prefunding required A card just for credit unions Joint revenue options for credit unions who wish to participate together Product and pricing reviews with participating credit unions All profits reinvested in products and services for credit unions

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