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Setting up a credit union

Please note: The Financial Services Authority will be replaced on 1st April 2013 by two new regulators.   Credit unions will be regulated by both the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.  We are making changes to our Information  Guides but some references to the FSA may remain while we change this information. 

Thinking of setting up a credit union?enquiries

Credit unions are mutual societies registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act. They are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to take deposits.

To set up a credit union you must satisfy FSA regulations and demonstrate that you have developed a strong and sustainable organisation. Full authorisation of a new credit union can take between six months and two years.

Before thinking of setting up a credit union, it's worth finding out whether there is already one in your area that would be willing to expand its services to your neighbourhood or place of employment. A local credit union may be willing to extend their services to your area or group if there is sufficient demand. To find out if there is a credit union in your area click here.

If you decide to go ahead you should establish what the membership criteria will be for the credit union. This will form the basis of your registration process and is the ‘common bond’. This may be a geographical area where your members live or work, an employer (e.g. police service) or an association (e.g. church group, housing association). The FSA offers extensive guidance on common bonds and criteria for membership.

You can register as a study group with ABCUL for a small annual fee. By registering your group you will be able to access information and support.

For more information email: or tel: 0161 832 3694.