Questions about what happens when we merge with Great Western Credit Union

GWCU use national insurance numbers as one of a number of individually unique identifiers to help members get registered for online access to their accounts and for reporting dividend/interest payments to HMRC where required. The information is held securely in our membership database and CRM system to which access is tightly controlled. We also have a number of other security measures in place including firewalls and connectivity security in the form of VPN tunnels.

Yes, GWCU operate junior depositor accounts. Interest is paid on those accounts each year on 30 September.

There will not be an immediate need to change standing orders. All payments will continue to be made to the existing SVCU bank account and GWCU will assume ownership of those accounts when the merger is completed. At some point in future it is likely that GWCU will want to consolidate their banking arrangements, but there will be plenty of notice given before that point, along with full instructions.

Yes, all loans will continue with their existing terms and conditions. GWCU may decide to waive some of its rights, for example where shares are currently ‘attached’ to a loan balance.

There are no current plans to close the branch. In fact, an IT upgrade for Stroud is part of our merger conversations. Longer term, everything depends on how many members want to deal with us face-to-face and how many volunteers we have continuing to come forward to be cashiers. Although Great Western Credit Union has a main office in Bristol providing many of its phone and on line services it also has a big network of volunteer-run branches and collection points.

No, there is no need to do anything. The terms of your loan will stay the same until it is repaid. We will let you know about any changes to your membership number or how we want you to pay (if this changes).

The minimum saving balance with GWCU is £1 membership share. an account with less than £5 which had no further transactions for over a year following the date of merger would be classified as dormant without further notice. An account with over £5 with no further transactions would still be classified as dormant, but would be given notice of before any dormancy fee was applied. Accounts with a balance over £250 are not normally classified as dormant, but may be subject to additional checks before we complete transactions where there has been no contact for some time.

Yes, members of GWCU can make loan payments via debit card, though this usually only applies for arrears. Card payments are made through an online portal which can be available at any GWCU location (subject to security requirements and training). Card payments can’t be used to fund saving accounts.

Yes and probably more. Although we will not have to maintain our own Board of Directors, we will need Stroud Ambassadors who represent our district to the Great Western Credit Union Board. Anyone with aspirations to be a director can take on this role. If demand from new people wanting to become members takes off as we hope, we will need lots more volunteers in customer service positions. These might be at the branch, but we also need to think about taking information and service out into the community in the towns and villages where members live or the places where they work.

If you still have questions then please put them into an email to admin@svcu.org and we will get back to you. Alternatively, you can phone 01453 298785 during our usual office hours.