Local, ethical, member focused
We offer loans and savings exclusively available to people who live or work in Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk or for selected employers. Our aim is to improve the financial well-being of our member-owners by providing ethical, affordable services. Although the products we offer are similar to those you’d find at a bank – our ethos is very different. Every member has an equal say, and any cash surplus generated is given back to members as a dividend on savings or rebate in loan interest. We are here to help our members to afford their lives – not to make profit out of them.
For over 50 years credit unions in Britain have been providing their members with:
Safe and handy ways to save;
Access to responsible, affordable credit;
A range of value for money financial services.
Credit unions are owned by their members – the people who use their services – and everything they do is for their benefit.
As co-operatives, we serve our members on a not-for-profit basis. Being owners, our members have a big say in the way we operate, and can vote to choose the directors who govern the organisation and make other important decisions. Each member’s ideas and opinions are valued equally no matter how much or how little they have in savings.
It’s a refreshing change from the big banks and other lending businesses who exist to make profits for their shareholders and big bonuses for their managers.
Credit union members’ savings provide a large pool of funds to lend to those members who wish to borrow. Interest on the members’ loans (which – unlike many other lenders - is capped at an affordable rate, by law) pays the credit union’s running costs and allows funds to be re-invested in further development. Any surplus funds are then paid back to the members as a dividend on their savings.
In a credit union, lending decisions are normally made by people, not computers. By carefully assessing each applicant’s personal circumstances we focus on affordability and tailor the repayments to each member’s situation.
Credit Unions have been supporting their local communities in this way since 1964 and now provide safe savings, affordable loans and other financial products to over 1.2 million members in Great Britain.
Across the world there are now 68,800 credit unions in 109 countries with over 235 million members. Find out more on the WOCCU website.
What sets us apart from mainstream banking institutions is that we are a not for profit co-operative organisation. This means that money that members make and save from being a member stays in the local community. By coming together as a co-operative it gives all members access to low cost loans, as little as 6.2% APR (See our Advantage Loan)
As an ethical lender we assess each loan application on individual circumstances thereby enabling us to consider everyone, irrespective of their credit status or personal circumstances.
When you join ESLCU you benefit from becoming a shareholder; and all cash surplus generated is divided between our members as a dividend on savings. We also offer FREE life insurance which includes loan protection insurance as standard. (T&C’s apply)
We are able to offer a payroll membership scheme, whereby regular savings or loan repayments can be made directly from salary for those who work in partnered organisations such as; East of England Coop, Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust, Ipswich Borough Council, Cambridge City Council, South Norfolk Council and many more.
Eastern Savings & Loans Credit Union was established in 2001, when the Registry of Friendly Societies gave permission for Ipswich Credit Union to operate across the town. In 2005 this extended to the whole county and in 2014 Ipswich & Suffolk Credit Union merged with Norfolk Credit Union and Cambridge City Credit Union, becoming Eastern Savings & Loans Credit Union.
In the past 17 years we have grown in membership, loan size and services. We now are able to lend up to £7,500 but continue to offer small loans at affordable rates of interest.
We continue to strive to make Credit Union services accessible and current as possible and have invested in new website, online banking and now online joining and loan forms. Serving the local community is a key part of our roots and we have reopened the shop in Austin street where it all started with better parking and access.
ESLCU is run by a Board of Directors made up of six volunteers elected by the members at the AGM. We employ 7 full and part time staff who are responsible for the on-going development of ESLCU and running and administering of our main office in Ipswich. In addition, staff support volunteers who work within our community access points located throughout the three counties enabling remote access to our services.
Eastern Savings & Loans is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, is a member of the Financial Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service. In addition, we are is also a member of The Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL).