The Moneywise Credit Union was launched in October 2003. MoneyWise Credit Union Ltd is a sustainable credit union currently serving over 6,000 adult members with assets of £2.6M. It is managed by a voluntary board of Directors and employs eight FTE members of staff. It grew out of Newcastle City Council Employees Credit Union, which invited small community credit unions to consider joining with it during the course of 2002/03. Of the nine community credit unions that existed at that time, most had been running for 15 to 20 years in the most deprived estates in Newcastle and Longbenton. Eight community credit unions and three study groups transferred to MoneyWise Newcastle in December 2003 and further credit unions have joined it since then. The credit union movement has had a long history in Newcastle and it has helped residents in some of the most deprived areas of the city. Credit unions offer local communities an alternative to loan sharks, payday lenders and other expensive commercial credit companies and empower local residents both financially and socially.
R. Berthoud, Credit, Debt and Poverty (1989), R. Berthoud, & T. Hinton Credit Unions in the United Kingdom (1989), A. Taylor, Working Class Credit and Community since 1918 (Basingstoke, 2002), S. O’Connell, Credit and Community: Working-Class Debt in the UK since 1880 (Oxford, 2009). http://informationnow.org.uk/articles/466/credit-unions