London Adventist Credit Union Ltd (LACU Ltd). Aiming for a brighter financial future together. What is a Credit Union? Essentially a credit union is a co-operative; members helping members. It is owned and democratically managed by its members, all of whom are united by a common bond.
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Aiming for a brighter financial future together
Essentially a credit union is a co-operative; members helping members.
It is owned and democratically managed by its members, all of whom are united by a common bond.
In essence, the concept of a credit union is similar to that of the evangelistic approach of ‘each one bring one’, drawing on the notion of a common goal.
In the case of the credit union, the common goal is financial security, while in the case of the church, the common goal is salvation.
Modern credit unions date back to 1852 in Germany.
Established as an alternative to banks. Many banks were not particularly interested in supporting rural subsistence farmers, low income-generating commercial farmers, and other low income individuals
In 1901 the first credit union in Canada was established. This was as a result of the founder discovering that a court ordered an individual to pay a money lender almost $5000, on a $150 loan. (As Solomon stated, there is nothing new under the sun.)
‘Credit unions took some time to take off in England, Scotland and Wales. People who had seen the idea work in the Caribbean [1940s], Ireland , Canada and the US were amongst the first British credit union pioneers’ (www.abcul.org).
In 1979 the Credit Unions Act was passed in the UK; prior to this there was no legal structure.
In the UK a credit union is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), now replaced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); the same authority which regulates banks and other regulated financial institutions.
In the early 1980s, over a considerable number of months, 11 innovative men attended regular evening meetings, despite being in full-time employment, to discuss a vision of financial advancement. These men, a few of whom are now deceased, envisaged a financial organisation which would be both a complement and an alternative to the established financial institutions, depending on the needs and circumstances of its members.
On May 27th 1984 the London Adventist Savings Club was established. The club was regulated by the Friendly Society. Through an increasing membership, transparent and meticulous financial records, and earnest prayers, these men were able to present a case, to the relevant authorities, and apply to become a credit union.
On March 11th 1988 the North London Adventist Credit Union Ltd (NLACU Ltd) was incorporated. Subsequently, the NLACU Ltd was granted permission to broaden its common bond and became the London Adventist Credit Union Ltd (LACU Ltd).
Since January 8th 2012, following new legislation, LACU Ltd membership is now open to all Seventh-day Adventist members in England, Scotland and Wales.
Our common bond is membership of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in England, Scotland or Wales.
Members of the SDA Church in England, Scotland or Wales, and their family members, may join the LACU Ltd. Both children and adult accounts are available.
Join by completing an application form and submit with £10 – joining fee £5 and initial minimum deposit of £5.
In addition to the traditional individual applicant, since January 8th 2012, social enterprise groups, local church groups and other such groups, may open an account in the name of the entity concerned.
Each account holder may save up to a maximum of £10,000
Interest on loans may vary between 1% and 2% depending on amount borrowed and the repayment period.
Dividends are paid annually, subject to a surplus being generated, after all expenses have been met.
Many of the initial members had ‘suffered’ at the hands of the established financial institutions, either being refused loans or being charged exorbitant interest on their loans, other members had had contact with unregulated money lenders, while others had no such experiences.
In coming together, those who had no need of a loan were able to support those who did; just like the banks which lend your money to other customers. The main difference being that bank customers do not share in the rewards of the banks’ lending policy, while LACU Ltd members share in the rewards of its lending policy.
The LACU Ltd is the legacy which remains of the foresight of a group of humble men, coming together for the good of the wider community, and this legacy should not be disregarded. More than ever, the subsequent generations need to come together to provide mutual financial and networking support.
In view of increased university fees and the need for larger mortgage deposits, among other necessary expenses, supporting children to appreciate the benefits of establishing a consistent saving habit is an essential life skill.
Recognising that despite all the best laid plans unexpected expenses do arise, and at some stage a regulated loan may be a prudent alternative to non-regulated money lending.
In addition to the financial benefits, there is the social capital benefit which arises when we come together as brethren with a common bond:
Sharing life skills, and survival skills, in the work place, in institutions of higher education, in planning a gap year, in securing an internship and in other aspects which affect day to day living, as appropriate.
As we find in Titus Chapter 2, seniors are encouraged to be an example to those younger, while those younger are encouraged to learn from the seniors. We live in a society where mutual respect, interaction and information exchange is key to society’s advancement.
However, let us remember that a 21 year-old graduate is the senior of the 14 year-old considering selecting GCSE options, or a 16 year-old exploring university options. Inside information may be worth far more than the words in a glossy university prospectus. Never discount life experiences, irrespective of age.
A 21 year-old could be an invaluable, additional, resource for a teenager, and his/her parents, in discussions around the teenager’s ambitions and life goals.
The LACU Ltd can provide opportunities to bring together the experienced and the inexperienced. If we recall the phrase ‘no man is an island’ let us each apply that to ourselves, and strive to help or be helped, as appropriate, for the greater good of a people who regard themselves as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Remembering the statement ‘Thou God seest me’ (Genesis 16:13) let us move forward together with honesty and integrity.
In his inaugural address, January 20th 1961, John F Kennedy stated:
“Divided, there is little we can do – for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.”
Therefore, in the adapted words of that now famous line:
“Ask not what your [LACU Ltd] can do for you - ask what you can do for your [LACU Ltd]”
LACU Ltd members’ meeting every second Sunday of the month
1:30 pm for a 2:00 pm start
John Loughborough School
P.O. Box 61270
Holcombe Road, Tottenham, London N17 9AD
020 8216 9895