Darlington Credit Union is on course for continued growth after reporting healthy results to its members at its latest Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The not-for-profit organisation, which is based on Tubwell Row in the town and employs nine staff, hosted its sixth AGM at St. Augustine’s Parish Centre for the 2015 financial year, with more than 40 members present.
Chairman, Alan Coultas, hailed the credit union’s “investment for the future” when it moved to a fully-refurbished, modern head office in Tubwell Row from its cramped office on Church Row, in September 2015.
Mr Coultas revealed that membership of the credit union had risen to 5,749 members – up over 1,000 from the previous year – with deposits increasing to £1.89m and members’ total share value reaching in excess of £1.63m – a growth of 40% from 2014. In addition, Darlington Credit Union has encouraged more than 1,381 young people to save, following its commitment to supporting 13 schools in the area.
He said: “Tubwell Row is an investment for the future to provide members with the best possible service and as a platform to grow. In this regard it has already been a spectacular success. Monthly membership growth has nearly doubled. Deposits have seen a dramatic increase and loan levels and income have risen significantly.”
Tony Brockley, Chief Executive, highlighted the credit union’s 2016 targets and the organisation’s planned investment to bolster its IT infrastructure, to support its growth and to deliver new services to its members.
From October, the credit union will add current accounts, cash ISAs and online banking to its existing savings and loans products as part of a Government national £38 million investment in the Credit Union movement.
Darlington Credit Union aims to increase its Adult membership to 9,000 by the end of 2017, which currently stands at 4,667, as well as generate earned income of £239,580 by the end of the current financial year. Other 2016 targets include growing its Deposits to £2.36m and its Loan book to £1.81m, which currently stand at £1.81m and £1.24m, respectively.
In recognition of the organisation’s success in 2015, a dividend of 1% was agreed to be given to its adult and junior members, with Treasurer Liz Lyle reporting a surplus of £26,000.
Mr Brockley said: “Six years ago, our latest targets would have seemed daunting and I am proud to have overseen this period of positivity. We have experienced significant growth across the board, with membership numbers rising along with deposits and loans; 2015 was a hugely successful year for the organisation.
“The move to new premises was a huge step forward in our future success and we will be one of the first credit unions to shift to online when we implement our advanced IT infrastructure and member-friendly processes. We have continued our support of the local community and schools, which has educated the younger generations about the importance of saving and I am hoping this number will continue to grow.
“I would like to thank the board and colleagues for your ongoing support and I am excited by what the future holds for Darlington Credit Union.”