CAUSEWAY Credit Union marked a special anniversary last week - 50 years in business.
In 1963 the Credit Union had only 20 members, now they can boast 2,800 members in the Coleraine area.
A talk about a newly established financial co-operative by John Hume in the Eglinton Hotel in January 1963 led to the formation of Causeway Credit Union.
A board of six directors was formed to manage the affairs of the Credit Union. They were Jim Brolly (Chairman); James McKenna (Secretary), Tommy Doherty (Treasurer) and the committee Dr Brendan Boyle, Tommy O’Kane and Frank Trainor.
These six individuals and a few others at the meeting pooled their savings and total of £20 formally established the Coleraine Credit Union in January 1963.
In order to start the business volunteers were recruited to act as teller in Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine.
In the 1950s and 1960s there was a high rate of unemployment in various areas of Northern Ireland.
A working man with no bank account meant that there was little chance of getting a bank loan.
Consequently people looking for a loan were driven into the arms of loan sharks, who charged exorbitant interest rates.
Credit Unions gave these people the opportunity to borrow at low rates of interest and agree to make repayments to suit their financial circumstances.
Today the spirit of voluntary workers is still the back bone of the Credit Union, and apart from four full time staff, the Credit Union is run on a volunteer basis.
Causeway Credit Union is regulated by the FSA.
The name was changed to Causeway Credit Union in order to reflect the geographical area of its expanding membership. And, as long as you live in the Coleraine postal area you can join.
To find out more about the wide range of services on offer call at the office, 32 Abbey Street or visit www.causewaycu.com.