Coventry University’s Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) has been working recently with three local credit unions to understand how they can support their members to improve financial capability and resilience. CBiS linked these findings to wider research in order to produce a paper, in collaboration with CFCFE, which provides practical recommendations to credit unions on how they can help their members. CBiS has also developed a budgeting app that can be downloaded for free and could be a useful tool for credit unions and their members.

On 31st January, representatives from fourteen credit unions, together with two trade associations and two universities, came to Coventry to discuss these findings, share their own ideas and experience of best practice and explore the capabilities of new app. The event contained some excellent observations and offered valuable lessons for attendees. “There were several really good ideas I am taking back to my credit union,” noted Joe Hegarty, CEO of Voyager Alliance Credit Union, an employer credit union working in the transport and retail industries.

Dr Lindsey Appleyard of CBiS, one of the authors of the paper, was delighted with the positive feedback: “there is already a lot of general research on financial capability, but we really wanted this to be of practical use to credit unions and their members, including the app, so we’re really pleased that the people who came today confirmed that.”

The working paper is being turned into a final report, which will be sent to CFCFE members in the next few weeks and made available to everyone shortly after.

For further information, please contact Nick at CFCFE (nick.money@cfcfe.eu) or Lindsey at CBiS (lindsey.appleyard@coventry.ac.uk).