Shaftesbury Credit Union opened on Sandy Row in 1986 and was the first credit union of what is now known as the Ulster Federation of Credit Unions.
By 1990 a number of credit unions had opened, and the registrar facilitated the formalisation of a group of like-minded credit unions. Initially the grouping known as Northern Ireland Credit Unions became a part of the National Federation based in England.
However, in 1995 members felt that the needs could be better addressed if they were to be recognised as a Northern Ireland based organisation and consequently the Northern Ireland Credit Unions became the Ulster Federation of Credit Unions.
Today, the Ulster Federation of Credit Unions is the Trade Body representing 38 affiliated credit unions located throughout Northern Ireland.
Our affiliated credit unions are grouped geographically into seven zones. Each credit union nominates two members to attend their zone meeting and each zone appoints three of their members to the board of the Ulster Federation of Credit Unions.
The board of the Ulster Federation of Credit Unions meets on a monthly basis and sets the strategic direction for the organisation. The UFCU also provides training for the staff and volunteers in each of our affiliated credit unions.
In addition, the board of the UFCU promotes the sharing of best practice between our affiliated credit unions. There has been a strong focus in recent years on effective Governance and the promotion of a culture of Responsible Lending.
Following the banking crisis of 2008, the Bank of England reviewed its regulatory practices and as a consequence in 2010 the Financial Services Authority became the regulator of Credit Unions in Northern Ireland.
In 2012 / 2013 following a further review, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took responsibility for the regulation of Credit Unions in Northern Ireland.
The Ulster Federation of Credit Unions has an excellent relationship with both regulatory bodies and will continue to represent our members views with both the PRA and the FCA.