Bristol Credit Union achieves 5-star Fairbanking Mark

The highest possible rating for our ethical loans. 

Bristol Credit Union has been awarded the highest possible 5-star rating from the Fairbanking Foundation for its ethical loans.

The Fairbanking Foundation, a national organisation aimed at encouraging financial providers to improve the financial well-being of their customers assessed the credit union late last year and confirmed its 5-star Fairbanking Mark this month.

The Fairbanking Mark ranges from three to five stars, and is only awarded to financial products which pass stringent assessment criteria and an independent survey of the product and the quality of service provided. Bristol Credit Union received the five star mark for their personal loan product, one of just 25 products which have been awarded the highest five-star rating.

Bristol Credit Union is the largest credit union in the South West region. The not-for-profit co-operative provides savings and loan services to people across Bristol, Bath and the surrounding areas. With more than 10,500 members, over £5.8 million in savers’ deposits and over 3,000 borrowers, borrowing £4.4 million at affordable rates the credit union is a community anchor organisation and plays a key role in many local people’s lives.

James Berry, CEO of Bristol Credit Union says:

We’re delighted to receive a five-star mark for our personal loan product. Improving the financial well-being of our members is at the heart of what we do. We work hard to ensure that the products we provide are fair, affordable and accessible, and to build strong relationships with our members. We also give them the tools and support they need to manage their money, all so their future is in a financially better place

To receive the Fairbanking Mark, the research carried out by the Foundation must confirm that customers have changed their financial behaviour for the better by having the product. As part of the assessment process, Ipsos Mori carried out in-depth telephone interviews with 191 Bristol Credit Union members. 86% of those surveyed said that Bristol Credit Union were effective in helping them reduce debt, and 53% said that they have managed to save regularly throughout the year after paying off their loan.

James Berry continues:

“Having our work externally assessed and then to receive the highest possible accreditation is a fantastic endorsement of the services we offer and the way we work. It’s also been really valuable to build on our internal research programme and hear even more from our members, who welcome our fair and transparent approach.”

Fairbanking Foundation Chief Executive Aidene Walsh commented on the achievement for the four credit unions which received a Fairbanking Mark in the latest awards saying: “The Fairbanking Foundation is delighted to recognise the effectiveness of the personal loans of the Police, Commsave, Blues and Twos and Bristol Credit Union in improving customer financial wellbeing. They have all been awarded the highest classification of a 5 star Mark. The Save As You Borrow feature in particular is a ‘rare financial services jewel’ which has a lasting impact on customers’ financial habits. Fairbanking looks forward to certifying more credit unions across all products in 2018.”

Published by
Team BCU
Posted on
31 January 2018