Lurgan Credit Union held its first meeting on a cold December night in 1963 at St Anthony’s Hall.
The meeting agreed on the need for a new kind of financial institution in the town.
An institution that was actually owned by its members. As a result, Lurgan Credit Union was born with an initial 18 founding members each depositing £1 to start the business.
Later that month the credit union agreed to rent two rooms to run the new organisation, costing £5 a year. By December 1964, the credit union had grown to 170 members. It had issued loans worth £3,216. Members had deposited shares / savings of £3,350.
That might not sound much, but back in 1963:
- A pint cost 10p
- A brand new Ford Cortina car would set you back £675
- The average price of a house was just over £3,000.
By 1970 the Credit Union had 1,320 members who had saved £55,550 and received loans worth £55,300.
Continued growth, new premises
An ever-expanding credit union meant that by February 1970 we needed to move to new premises. We found these at 12 North Street.
It was not long however before we outgrew these premises too. By 1977 5,000 members had saved over £1 million with the Credit Union. Because of this rapid growth we purchased 14 North Street. Extensive renovation was carried out, completing in late 1982.
Steadily throughout the 1980’s the levels of membership, loans issued and shares lodged increased
By our 25th year in operation, there were 9,202 members, with a total share balance of £ 3,762,000.
With such rapid membership growth the decision was once again made to move, many locations were considered and 40 Church Place, Lurgan was chosen.
[picture of current office]
So in 1996 we found ourselves back at the building where we started back in 1963.
This time however we did not have the two rooms rented for £5 per year. Instead we took over the whole building.
A building that not only allowed us to provide the standard of service that our members deserve but we also found a building which reflects our standing in Lurgan as an important financial institution.
Our current services
By the end of 2020, the Credit Union had almost 27,000 members who have savings / shares worth £71m. The loan book stands at £21 million.
We’re pleased to be promoting the Credit Union for the future and have nearly 4,000 junior accounts with almost £4 million saved.
In June 2015, Lurgan Credit Union was awarded the Investors in People award.
We now employ over 20 people, each doing a number of jobs from the cashiers on the counter to the loans officer, foreign exchange cashiers and direct debit cashiers. At the head of the staff is our team of experienced managers: –
CEO – Fiona Clarke
Manager (Counter, FX, Insurance) - Janette Lennon
Manager (Loans, Credit Control, Electronic Services) – Bernadette McGeown
Manager (HR, H&S, IT) – Susan McConville
The Credit Union has started a new phase in delivering its services digitally. A new website and online loan applications were launched in early 2021.
We continue to support the local community through school quizzes and sponsorship of local community groups.
And this support extends beyond our immediate community. We continue to use our experience to promote the development of credit unions across the world. For many years, our members have helped some of the poorest people in the world to have access to their own credit union. Through our support of the ILCU foundation, we are making a difference across the globe.
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