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What is the role of the Scottish League of Credit Unions? What does it offer its members?
The role of the Scottish League of Credit Unions is the promotion of the credit union experience in Scotland and to support its member credit unions in achieving the specific goals and objectives that the credit unions themselves have determined to constitute their individual mandates. The SLCU Board of Directors recognizes that although there is a common philosophy and ethos which makes us credit unions the world-over there are differences between the needs and aspirations of individual credit unions; some ‘big’, some ‘small’, some see their mandates as one of addressing social and financial exclusion, others as community social and economic development with their membership being drawn from across the entire economic spectrum of the community; other see credit unions as fundamentally member-owned financial cooperatives offering an alternate corporate structure to the main street consumer financial institutions with the rewards generated being for the benefit of their members or their communities rather than distant shareholders….. All of these interpretations are valid and are fully conducive to, and in keeping with, the Credit Union philosophy, ethos, and ideals…
‘People helping People’, ‘Neighbours helping Neighbours’.
The SLCU sees its mandate as one of supporting all of these interpretations and in doing so it fully recognizes that the strength of the credit union movement is in its collective nature. Although credit unions do, and must, maintain individual autonomy there are numerous operational and representative activities that are common to all and the SLCU considers as its major function and purpose the coordination and development of these network commonalities (and the possible contracting and/or purchasing on a league basis); computer software and the future establishment of a ‘centralized server’ to allow for common ‘back-office services’, to permit credit union members of one SLCU credit union to access their accounts through other SLCU credit unions, and to provide a central gateway to possible future technological advances in the consumer finance sector; representations to the various levels of Scotland’s government; auditing; marketing; purchasing; professional development; etc. The purpose of this ‘networking commonality’ concept amongst the SLCU member credit unions is twofold; firstly, to develop economies of scale and, perhaps more importantly, to exercise our ‘collective credit union muscle’.
We live in a time of change in the consumer financial services sector and the Scottish League of Credit Unions sees its function as one of supporting its member credit unions in preparing themselves for the changes, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
The Scottish League of Credit Unions is the only Credit Union trade association that solely represents Scottish credit unions and thus its focus and effort is restricted to meeting the needs, goals and aspirations of Scotland’s credit unions.