Credit Union becomes the Prince Bishops Community Bank

23 February 2011

A County Durham based credit union has been renamed the Prince Bishops Community Bank in a bid to become more user-friendly to the public.

Prince Bishops Credit Union at Glenroyd House in Medomsley Road, Consett, has undergone an image-change to help attract even more users and is open for business between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday.

Prince Bishops Credit Union was created when East Derwentside Credit Union in Stanley successfully merged with West Derwentside Credit Union in Consett in 2009.

Now, Prince Bishops Community Bank will continue to offer a vital alternative to loan sharks by offering people low interest loans and helping to ease their escalating debts.

The three main aims of a community bank are to encourage its members to save regularly, to provide loans to members at very low rates of interest and to provide members with help and support with managing their financial affairs.

It is supported by Derwentside Homes, Derwentside Council for Voluntary Services, County Durham NHS, the County Durham Foundation and Sherburn Hospice.

Lesley Richardson, the Manager of Prince Bishops Community Bank, said: “We decided to rename the Prince Bishops Credit Union the Prince Bishops Community Bank to let people know that we are a community bank as we are helping the community to save money.

“We also think that a community bank is a more user-friendly term as the word ‘credit’ can put people off, particularly in the current economic climate.

“It essentially serves to make us more approachable.”

When members of the community bank have been saving money for a period of 10 weeks they can then apply for a loan from a pool of savings made by other members.

The interest rate charged on the loan is usually very low and contributes to the community bank’s income.

The community bank is a ‘not for profit’ organisation and all money received is paid back to members as a dividend.

Keith Tallintire, Director of Prince Bishops Community Bank's Board, said: “The evolution of Prince Bishops Credit Union to the Prince Bishops Community bank will make it more approachable to tenants while keeping essential services the same. We’re looking forward to potentially inviting even more people through the front door than we do already in the months to come.”

To be eligible to become a member of the Prince Bishops Community Bank, people must live or work in County Durham, be able to provide two forms of identification and agree to pay a joining fee of £1.00 (free for children under the age of 16). For more information please contact the Manager Lesley Richardson on 01207 593 443.