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ABCUL changes membership dues

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09 May 16

ABCUL has changed the way it calculates membership dues for credit unions.

As a co-operative formed, owned and democratically controlled by credit unions across Britain, ABCUL’s rules are decided by the membership. Members overwhelmingly passed a motion at this year’s ABCUL Annual General Meeting to adopt a new formula for the calculation of ABCUL membership dues, and this change to the Association’s rules has now been registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Until now, dues have been based strictly on the number of active adult members of a credit union – the most recent rate being £1.20 per member per year. ABCUL members have now approved a formula which will gradually move towards membership dues being based on a credit union’s assets.

After a year of working with members reviewing the basis and level of dues, ABCUL members have agreed a gradual transition towards a new rate of 57p per £1,000 in assets, calculated on the credit union’s assets at the end of the previous financial year. There is a 20% discount on this rate for assets over £5 million, and a further 20% discount on the base rate for dues as assets double above £5 million (ie, when they reach £10m, £20m, etc).

The new basis of calculating membership dues means that over 93% of the Association’s membership will pay less (based on last year’s figures). There will be a gradual transition to the new rate to ensure stability in the Association’s income and fairness for the small number who would pay more.

A recent analysis of ABCUL's services and policy achievements found that ABCUL has delivered at least £50 million of value for credit unions across England, Scotland and Wales – the equivalent of more than £140,000 per credit union.

Calculated on an annual basis, the value of ABCUL membership works out at more than £10 of value for every £1 paid by members in dues each year. And ABCUL is further strengthening its member offering with a range of new products and services, including ABCUL inSight and the ABCUL Academy.

ABCUL Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said: “The new formula is designed to make belonging to the Association more affordable, sharing the cost fairly amongst members while continuing to offer excellent value for money for credit unions of all sizes and types.

“We are committed to reducing the relative amount our members pay over a period of years, but this will need to be done gradually by reducing the increase in ABCUL income as assets in our member credit unions grow.

“So the new transitional dues formula is designed to provide the best balance between a reduction in the cost of member dues, while minimising the impact on the Association’s ability to provide the services our members value.

“Credit unions achieve more when we co-operate and work together in a strong trade association, and we value the diverse range of credit unions in our membership. This new formula has been designed with fairness in mind for all of our members, large and small alike.”

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