Need a low-cost loan? Norwich Credit Union has been helping people to save and borrow for 25 years

William Armstrong, sheriff of Norwich, cuts the cake to celebrate Norwich Credit Union's 25th annive

William Armstrong, sheriff of Norwich, cuts the cake to celebrate Norwich Credit Union's 25th anniversary. Photo: Bill Smith

A credit union is celebrating 25 years of helping savers in Norwich.

Norwich Credit Union (NCU), originally known as Norwich Community Cooperative Credit Union, was set up on September 1, 1989, to serve organisations based at the former Development and Environmental Centre in Exchange Street.

Over a quarter of a century, NCU has gradually expanded its membership criteria to include anyone living or working in the Norwich postcode area.

In June 2013, NCU merged with Ketts Credit Union in Norwich, and there are now more than 650 members of the London Street organisation.

Like all credit unions, NCU is owned and run by its members, and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Members also have access to low-cost loans at 1.5pc interest per month, or 19.6pc APR.

'These rates are significantly cheaper than payday lenders or even high-street banks for amounts up to £3,000,' says Alan Camina, president.

'With less than four months to go until Christmas, now's a good time to start saving. For first-time loans, members can apply to borrow up to twice the amount of their savings. This rises to three times savings for any future loans, provided members pay back within terms.'

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Credit unions are community loan and savings co-operatives and are not-for-profit social enterprises.

They can help people pay off high interest debts and to get into a regular savings habit, as well as helping some people who have had difficulty opening a high-street account due to low income or poor credit history.

The Sheriff of Norwich, William Armstrong, helped NCU to celebrate its birthday at an event yesterday, which also saw the launch of a membership drive and prize draw, open to anyone who lives or works in a Norwich postcode area (NR1-NR35).

Mr Armstrong said the union's great virtues were its ethical values and its community-based operation and added: 'The Norwich Credit Union provides a vital service in encouraging safe and sensible saving and borrowing. It is an alternative to the predatory loan sharks including pay day lenders.

'The need is obvious and continuing at a time when any benefits of the alleged economic recovery are not being experienced by a significant number of people, including many in Norwich.'

For more information, contact, call 01603 764904 or 07504 433758, or visit

Do you have a story about an organisation celebrating an anniversary? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772474 or email