Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Credit Union

Credit unions are mutual financial institutions which offer a wide range of products including saving accounts, current accounts and loans. Since credit unions are a form of co-operative, the members elect the board of directors who run the credit union for the members. 

Credit Unions' Role in Society

Credit unions have a strong community focus and are an alternative to traditional banks or building societies. In general, credit unions are set up to benefit a specific group of people or community who share a common bond. This common bond may be

  • Geographical – members live in the same local area
  • Associational – members are part of a particular group e.g. Church
  • Occupational – members work for the same employer

Currently there are around 340 credit unions in England, Wales and Scotland, with just over one million members in total. 

Board of Directors Election 

The members own the credit union and therefore have a say in how the credit union is run. The most important decision is electing their board of directors who run the credit union on behalf of the members. In most credit unions, voting takes place at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). However, there is usually an option to vote by post or by proxy. 

See also: Friendly Society, Building Society, Community Benefit Society, Mutuals


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