The virtuous circle

Date: 04 March 2021

Powered by members and differentiated by community

It’s not a coincidence that our GMBCU logo features a circle with an arrow looping around members. Ever wondered why?

Put simply, we offer an alternative way to operate financial services – a more rounded approach to finance which ensures that money works exclusively as a generator for the benefit of the GMB community.

The money you save is protected and redistributed within our community to support members like you. Unlike banks and other lenders, we are not subject to the whims and workings of the international financial markets.

Read on to find out more about how our alternative, more co-operative financial model works or watch our video below for a quick summary.

What is the Virtuous Circle?

Unlike the wider financial industry, we are not driven solely by profit and although we are connected, we are operationally independent of the money markets.

GMB Credit Union is 100% owned and operated by GMB members. We do not speculate on the money markets, dabble in risky investments, or line the pockets of fat cats. Instead, we are committed to circulating money around our community and making finance work for the wellbeing of GMB members like you.

We like to keep things fair and simple by pooling member savings and then lending to other members. To us, this type of credit cycle is straightforward and far more beneficial to all members and our community.

The Virtuous Circle at work

  • GMBCU is an exclusive financial member benefit for GMB members and their families
  • Members save with us, which creates funds that we pool for lending
  • These funds are kept safe on our balance sheet and protected by the FSCS
  • From our pool of member savings, we lend to members
  • GMBCU borrowers enjoy very affordable borrowing and pay a fair interest rate
  • Credit Union savers enjoy attractive annual dividends from our trading surplus.

Is saving and borrowing through a Credit Union safe?

Absolutely. When you save or borrow money with your Credit Union, it is completely safe and secure. Your savings are protected up to £85,000 by the FSCS, and we operate a responsible lending policy.

Although we have a very different operating model and approach to the provision of finance, we’re still regulated by the same authorities as banks and building societies. We’re authorised to trade by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and regulated in what we do by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), which is a department of the Bank of England.

Benefits of GMB Credit Unions financial model

This exclusive member benefit which enables GMB members to save and borrow with their own Credit Union is a win-win situation.

We’ll save you money with market-leading, affordable, flexible lending that gives members easy access to borrow money safely, without the pressure of high-interest rates.

We make your money work for you when you save with us. Our business model is not focused on profit and your savings are supporting fellow members of your community, who will do the same for you if you need to borrow. Plus, of course, you will receive a market-leading annual savings dividend as a reward for supporting your community.

Borrowing and saving with your Credit Union offers you a simpler, fairer and a more ethical alternative to the banks and other loan providers.

We are all part of the GMB community and we share a common goal of supporting each other by smoothing out life’s ups and downs.

What do members think of our alternative financial model?

Well, here are some real-life examples:

Stella said: “I can’t even begin to tell you how much difference this loan will make. I had felt for some time like I was sinking under a very heavy burden of debt, and this was not surprisingly affecting my mental health.

“I was not known to you before this week and in helping me you have made my life infinitely better. I will have over £100 more in disposable income every month; the worry is behind me and I can breathe again and start to live again.

“I am crying as it sinks in that I can go forward, that you have helped me. I spend my working life helping people, and love it, I’m just not used to people helping me, so easily and quickly.”

Matthew said: “I’m a renter, and twice when I’ve needed to move accommodation, I’ve used loans from the Credit Union to help me pay for upfront costs, without which I would have been stuck!”

Bharat said: “It helped me get a fair rate loan compared to all the high interest lenders because of my credit score and its saving money for me at the same time. Very happy.”

Lianne said: “This has helped me out so much and is a massive relief. Can’t wait to pay off the expensive credit card.”

Nicolae said: “Amazing thank you very very much to everyone for your help and support. What you did today is that you saved some one’s life and gave them a helping hand when no one else did.”

Get Involved

Share your experiences of GMB Credit Union. Enter our Facebook competition to be in with a chance of winning a £100 hamper – simply send us a video explaining how GMBCU has helped you manage your finances and lead a happier life.

Share to be in with a chance of winning here.

Access fast, fair and flexible loans here.

Plan for your future with easy-access savings here.