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STRATEGIC MERGER FURTHER DETAILS

Why have West Cheshire Credit Union decided on a strategic merge with another credit union?

The West Cheshire Credit Union is an established, well managed and growing business however it is proving ever more difficult for small Credit Unions such as ourselves to grow quickly enough to reach sustainability both financially and regulatory.  Financially, this means not having enough income to build the resources and infrastructure of the business needed to provide a wide enough range of competitive loan products or reward our savers with dividends.

At the same time, significant pressures are being placed on credit unions to comply with ever tightening regulations around liquidity, governance and compliance.  A recent letter from our regulators, the Prudential Regulation Authority of the Bank of England, required that we provide assurance that these matters were fully covered, now and into the future.  If we could not provide such assurance, then options must be explored including collaboration with fellow credit unions or consider strategic mergers.

The WCCU, therefore, wanted to be on the front foot and seek a potential merger partner that could enable us to continue to grow within our area, reaching more members whilst giving us financial security, resources and regulatory compliance – a true ‘strategic merger’.

Why Central Credit Union?

It is our aim to provide all our members with the best services and products to meet a range of needs and by looking outward we recognised that Central Credit Union (formally Central Liverpool Credit Union) were growing rapidly in their offer of products, their geographical coverage and had the established financial strength, resources and infrastructure.  Central Credit Union were also looking for a strategic partner who could help their growth whilst retaining a credible and autonomous presence in the local community in which the merger partner operated. Hence, this met both Credit Unions’ requirements for a strategic merger.  

This has been supported by the process of due diligence which has been carried out to ensure the interests of our members, staff and working partners are best served. The Board and Management fully support the merger and recommend it to the members.

Will West Cheshire Credit Union as a brand cease to exist?

The first step in the process is called the ‘legal merger’ which must be voted on and supported by our members at the forthcoming two Special General Meetings.  Following approval, the West Cheshire Credit Union will be absorbed by Central Credit Union.  Thereafter, the process of merging the two businesses will take some time and the trading name of West Cheshire Credit Union may carry on being used with it phasing out over time.  

How will the current West Cheshire Credit Union office operate in the future?

Our head office located at Brookdale Place will act as a ‘Cheshire Branch’ of Central Credit Union and all the regular services will be provided from this office.

Will the current team of staff at West Cheshire Credit Union change?

All the current staff will remain managing the ‘Cheshire Branch’ and will be on hand as always to answer your questions on a daily basis and manage your transactions.

I have a loan with West Cheshire Credit Union, will my loan rate increase?

No, all loans granted under WCCU will be honoured at the rate on your agreement.  In fact, future loans and loan products may differ under Central Credit Union with lower interest rates, and higher borrowing amounts. All their products which we will adopt can be viewed on their website.

Is it important that I attend one, or both of the Special General Meetings

As a valued member you have a key role in the decisions surrounding your credit union.  Therefore, we would welcome you along to participate at one, or both of the forthcoming SGM’s (either in person or via Zoom).   Our first meeting takes place on Monday 3rd June and will be held at All Saints Centre, Hoole, Chester and will commence at 6:30 pm.  You may also join the meeting via zoom and if you wish to attend via this method please contact info@wccu.co.uk

Link to Central Credit Union  https://centralcu.co.uk/