Welcome to The Castle & Crystal Credit Union Website
The mission of Castle & Crystal is to provide fair and affordable financial services, equally accessible to everyone who lives or works within the Dudley Borough. To achieve this we are committed to provide a broad range of financial products including various types of savings accounts and affordable loans.
What is a credit union?
A credit union is a financial co-operative that is owned by its members and runs for the benefit of its members. We allow people within the local community to save and borrow money and keep your money circulating in Dudley. Credit unions are owned and controlled by their members, so we have no outside shareholders to pay. Any profit that Castle and Crystal make is used to develop the business and provide a return to our savers.
What do we offer?
Affordable loans suited to your individual needs and at rates you can easily afford
Mutual and ethical savings so you can choose to save as little or much as you can afford
All the products we provide are supported by the excellent services of dedicated, well-trained staff and volunteers so you can be sure of a pleasant, hassle free service.
More information on the products and services we provide can be found on the navigation bar to the left of this page.
How does it work?
Members of the credit union pool their savings together; these savings then provide a pool of funds from which loans can be made. In simple terms, a credit union Ďrentsí money from its savers, which is lent out to other members who pay interest on the money loaned out to them.
We always share a percentage of our profits with our members; this is called a dividend and is applied annually to memberís accounts. Our latest dividend (2010-2011) was agreed at 1.5%, a competitive return on an instant access savings account.
We are a not-for-profit organization, with our main source of income coming from the interest charged on our loans. There is a legally set maximum interest rate on credit union loans;
by law this cannot be more than 2% per month on the reducing balance (an APR of 26.8%) which you may well find is a lot cheaper when compared to other lenders.
How do we help the community?
Money saved in interest on loans by borrowing from Castle and Crystal as opposed to borrowing from a bank or doorstep lenders helps to keep money in the community. This acheives a wider public benefit as local people have more disposable income to spend in local shops, helping businesses to flourish rather than being removed from the community to benefit individual private shareholders in the form of higher loan repayments. This is all because of the money they have saved in interest by opting for an affordable credit union loan.
See loan example below, the figures speak for themselves;
Borrow £500 over 52 weeks and pay back just £10.84 per week for 51 weeks plus a final payment of £10.69. Loan repayment period over 12 months, costing you £563.53 in total.
(24% p.a. fixed). Representative 26.8% APR, calculated on the declining balance of the loan.
Why Castle and Crystal?
As a financial co-operative operating for the benefit of residents and workers of the Dudley borough we offer a UNIQUE service. If you call us you will get to speak to a real person, and we offer a local, friendly, personal and non-automated service.
Remember; ITS YOUR CREDIT UNION, THE LARGER WE BECOME, THE MORE YOU BENEFIT.
There are nearly 450 credit unions in Britain so everyone has access to one. If you donít live or work in the borough of Dudley but are interested in becoming a member of a credit union, log onto and enter your post code to find one local to you.
Your Savings are safe with Castle & Crystal
The collapse of the national savings scheme Farepak in 2006 left thousands of people out of pocket in the run up to Christmas. Most recently, with the loss of huge amounts by many banks and other financial organisations, many have either already lost savings or are worried about their safety.
These unfortunate events only serve to reinforce the importance of saving with an organisation like Castle & Crystal. We do not have any exposure to sub-prime lending and only lend to our members. All our members can rest assured their money is safe with us.
From 1st April 2013 we are authorised and regulated by the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Deposits also covered by the Governments Financial Compensation Scheme. Your eligible deposits with Castle & Crystal Credit Union are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UKís deposit protection scheme. Any deposits you hold above the £85,000 limit are not covered.
Introduction of Legislative Reform Order
Changes to the Credit Unions Act 1979 mean that credit unions can expand and offer its financial services beyond its original common bond. This means that credit unions are no longer limited to providing its fair and affordable financial services to just individuals who live or work in Dudley.