News

  • ACE members' newsletter available - September 2017

    The September 2017 newsletter is now available to download, including:

    • 2018 ACE Conference & AGM

    • Falkirk District Credit Union gets congratulatory parliamentary motion

    • New members for ACE

    • Knowsley Mutual Credit Union

    • Unify Credit Union

    • Grampian Credit Union

    • Welsh Credit Union Collaboration Group

    • ACE Board structure

    • Current position of ACE

    • Regional meetings to be supported by ACE Board members

    • Towards a financially inclusive society in the UK: “What needs to be done?”

    • ACE Credit Union Services office relocation

  • ACE members' newsletter available - June 2017

    The June 2017 newsletter is now available to download, including:

    • 2017 ACE Conference - report and summary of presentations

    • 2017 AGM Motions

    • Barclays announces Year 3 winners of its Credit Union Support Programme

    • GDPR - new Data Protection rules

    • Meeting with the Regulators

    • CEO Credit Union visits 2017/2018

    • SAVEeasy attends Mega Fun Day Out to promote new Pembroke Dock office

    • Neath Port Talbot Credit Union changes its name and spreads its wings

  • ACE members' newsletter available - February 2017

    The February 2017 newsletter is now available to download, including:

    • Barclays hosts compliance masterclass for support programme credit unions

    • Barclays launches year 3 of its Credit Union Support Programme

    • Welsh Government announces new grant fund for Welsh Credit Unions

    • Meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Credit Unions

    • ACE 2017 Conference & AGM takes shape

    • FCA Responds to Trade Bodies' Concerns about the Senior Managers & Certification Regimes

    • Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) Cover Changed

    • ACE Credit Unions Joining Together in Somerset

    • BAG Credit Union Celebrates 25 years of Business

    • Dorothy Brown becomes MBE for services to Swindon communities

    • North Tyneside Employee Credit Union’s First Savers Scheme a big hit

  • Barclays launches year 3 of its Credit Union Support Programme

    Barclays has just launched the third year of its four year Credit Union Support Programme in partnership with ACE, UKCU and Toynbee Hall. To date twenty British credit unions have benefited from the programme and a further ten credit unions will be selected this year. The programme is open to all credit unions in the UK, regardless of trade association affiliation. Through this programme, Barclays hopes to encourage collaboration, identification and sharing of best practice and the development and enhancement of key skills and operational practices to promote growth and improvements across the sector. This in turn will allow credit unions to better meet the financial needs of their members and support more financially excluded and underserved households to manage their money and access and use appropriate financial services. It is being delivered through a number of expert delivery partners: Toynbee Hall, ACE Credit Union Services and UKCreditUnions Ltd, with the involvement of staff and senior executives from within Barclays. The programme is being independently evaluated by the Financial Inclusion Centre.

    The programme will fund a team of specialists who will work with participating credit unions to explore their key support needs and priorities and then develop and deliver tailored training and support that will help make a sustainable impact in the sector, improving the skills and capabilities of selected credit unions and their members across the UK, with the training programme being adjusted to fit the needs of each credit union. The Year 3 Application form for the Barclays Programme can be downloaded from the ACE website. Please send your completed application to: barclayscreditunionprogramme@barclays.com

  • ACE members' newsletter available - November 2016

    The November 2016 edition of the ACE Newsletter is now available to download (PDF).

    This newsletter includes articles on:

    • Regulatory Issues - November 2016

    • Death Trust Fund update

    • International Credit Union Day 2016

    • SaveEasy Credit Union opens new office in Pembroke Dock

    • Powys Credit Unions working together

    • Virtual training to continue

    • ACE 2017 Conference & AGM in Birmingham

    • Michael Sheen joins Neath Port Talbot CU

    • West Lothian CU celebrates lending over £10m - attracts Scottish Partliament funding for its work in schools

    • ACE web-site members' area

    • Salford Credit Union campaign week to break cycle of debt

  • ACE members' newsletter available - June 2016

    The June 2016 edition of the ACE Newsletter is now available to download (PDF).

    This newsletter includes articles on:

    • ACE Conference & AGM

    • AGM motions

    • Annual Conference presentations

    • Welcomes and Goodbyes to and from the Board

    • CEO Plans to Visit the Majority of ACE Credit Union 2016-2017

    • Newport Credit Union moves to Indoor Market

    • Conference Feedback

    • Mendip Community Credit Union Produces Volunteering Video with support from Unity Trust Bank

    • Barclays Announces Year 2 Support Programme Winners

    • Next meeting with the Regulators 5th July 2016

  • ACE members' newsletter available - February 2016

    The February 2016 edition of the ACE Newsletter is now available to download (PDF).

    This newsletter includes articles on:

    • PRA makes significant modifications to the reform of the Legacy Credit Unions Sourcebook

    • Barbara Hann awarded CBE by the Prince of Wales for services to the financially excluded

    • ACE Conference heading for Newcastle in North Tyneside's Year of Credit Unions

    • Scottish Parliament pledges to make Scotland a Credit Union Nation

    • Is your Credit Union's money safe with the banks and building societies?

    • Banknotes are changing - the new fiver is coming in September 2016

    • Collecting financial date to promote ACE Credit Unions

    • ACE launches virtual training programme pilot in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire Co-operative Development Agency

  • PRA makes modifications to the Reform of the legacy Credit Unions Sourcebook

    Original Proposals

    • Limit on shares and deposits for credit union members to the FSCS level of protection

    • Framework for additional activities based on achieving ratios

    • Minimum capital for credit unions with either £10m assets or 10,000 members to be 10%

    • Lending to be subject to a cap of £500,000

    • Credit unions must maintain a liquidity ratio of a minimum of 10% at all times

    • General provision for bad debt removed and replaced by mandatory tiered requirements

    • Boards to report to AGM on compliance with key regulatory requirements

    • Compliance with general organisational requirements and whistleblowing

    On the 1st February the Bank of England publicised its Policy Statement on the Reform of the legacy Credit Unions sourcebook.

    There were some modifications made to the original proposals set out in the Consultation Papers CP22/15 PRA and CP15/21 FCA which received 124 responses. Rule changes will come into place on the 3 February 2016. Modifications and rule changes have been highlighted below:

    Limit on shares and deposits

    The original proposal was to set a limit on the amount of shares that could be held in a credit union to the maximum amount that would be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Although this was not likely to affect many credit unions, ACE and UKCU argued that this proposal would give a negative view of credit unions to existing members and potential new members, in that credit unions could be viewed an insecure place to save for those members who would wish to hold larger amounts in shares thus undermining consumer confidence. Recognising this potential impact of this proposal, particularly on larger credit unions, the PRA will not now set a blanket restriction on shares but will expect credit unions with members wishing to exceed the FSCS limit to provide an advance notification to the PRA. You now have to tell the PRA at least 5 days before issuing shares above this limit, and they can refuse you permission.

    Framework for additional activities

    Although ACE and UKCU welcomed the abolition of the version 1 and version 2 credit union models we were concerned about the introduction of the proposed “minimum prudential standard” that would be imposed on credit unions before they could undertake any additional services including a minimum 10% capital:assets ratio or to benefit from the new opportunities to invest in a wider range of capital protected products over a longer period of time. There was concern that the proposed framework would impose a rigid structure of prescribed regulatory requirements that would have seen many credit unions failing to meet some of the ratios suggested in the original proposal. Taking such responses into account the PRA has modified the proposal in the following way:

    • The 10% capital requirement will now be composed of two elements, an 8% minimum to be maintained at all times and a 2% capital buffer which would be available to absorb losses in stress situations. Buffer to be in place by September 2018.

    • The number of ratios that credit unions will be expected to achieve will be reduced with credit union boards deciding which of the ratios correctly reflect their business model. While most of the ratios remain, credit unions will now be able to set the level of these ratios based on its individual business model. The PRA has set out indicative requirements and expects the levels set by Credit Unions to be justifiable.

    Minimum Capital Requirements

    The previous hard line on achieving a 10% capital ratio has been eased by the 8% fixed + 2% buffer approach but the PRA has modified the requirement for a minimum of a 10% capital ratio to those credit unions with over £10m in assets or 15,000 members (was previously 10,000).

    Maximum Lending Cap

    The proposed maximum lending cap of £500,000 has been removed by the PRA.

    Bad Debt Provisioning

    The General Provision requirement for bad debts has been removed and replaced by a mandatory tiered obligation which will require all credit unions to make the following provisions from the 3rd February 2016:

    months in arrearsbad debt provision
    335%
    660%
    980%
    12+100%

    Bad Debt Write-offs

    The original proposal to write-off all bad debts over 12 months in arrears has been removed by the PRA. Credit unions will still have to make a 100% provision but will not automatically have to write-off these debts.

    Audited Accounts

    • It is now a rule that British credit unions must submit annual audited accounts to both the PRA and the FCA.

    Electronic Reporting

    • Electronic reporting by credit unions will become mandatory in the near future via the website portal with an estimated timeline of the end of Q2 2016. Annual and Quarterly Returns will be simplified with the addition of separate provisioning and information regarding additional activities.

    Criminal Records Checks (CRC)

    • It is the responsibility of all credit unions to undertake a CRC on all new Directors.

    Liquidity

    • Liquidity remains at 10% unattached shares.

  • ACE members' newsletter available - October 2015

    The October 2015 edition of the ACE Newsletter is now available to download (PDF).

    This newsletter includes articles on:

    • All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) - Credit Unions

    • Joint Consultation Paper Response - PRA 22/15 + FCA 15/21

    • Welsh Government Credit Union Collaboration Group

    • Scottish Government Working Group - Credit Unions

    • Improving Individual Accountability: Workshop for Credit Unions

    • Criminal Records and Credit Reference Checks

    • Mendip Credit Union wins award of Best Community Support Organisation

    • International Credit Union Day

    • Brecon & District Credit Union celebrates its 20th Birthday

    • Newport Credit Union says “no debt” on International Credit Union Day

    • It's all happening in Neath Port Talbot

    • Llynfi Valley becomes the latest Welsh CU to join ACE

    • Getting into the savings habit the healthy way

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