Introducing Lewisham Plus Credit Union, the Credit Union bringing financial inclusion and support to the London boroughs of Lewisham, Bromley and the entire SE19 postcode. They have supported their community by providing low-cost financial services to their members since 1992. CEO of Lewisham Plus, Ravi Ravindran gives us some insight on the effects of the pandemic, how Engage assists its members, recent developments and his thoughts on the future of the CU sector.
How would you introduce Lewisham Plus Credit Union in 10 words or less?
Celebrating 30 years of helping the community in 2022.
What inspired you to be part of the Credit Union sector?
I have been involved in the corporate and business world for 30+ years and was seeking a career change where my contribution would make a difference to the community and I stumbled across the job.
How does Lewisham Plus Credit Union benefit its common bond?
It has grown to provide a valuable and dependable service over the last three decades. Anyone who contacts us, will be helped in some way or the other. If we cannot help, we will refer them to one of our many partner organisations or the council.
What products and services does Engage provide which benefit your common bond?
Engage provides card accounts to those members aged eight and above. Engage enables our members to access funds online or on the high street. During the pandemic, we were able to load funds on cards to enable members to get essential food items and other services.
Any new developments at Lewisham Plus Credit Union that you are excited about?
We have recently opened our new branch at New Cross during the pandemic! We are also excited about our new facilities such as E-signing for loans and our new facility for members to join and borrow remotely.
How has the pandemic affected your Credit Union and how has it changed the way you work?
Some of us have had to work from home as deemed vulnerable. This resulted in colleagues in branches having to step up to deliver on services. Fortunately, we have good telephone and IT systems that enabled remote working. We were able to provide excellent support to our members, despite the difficulties.
Where do you see the future of the UK’s Credit Union Sector?
I see the sector growing with renewed energy, following the shake up in doorstep lending and the payday loan sector. I think people in general and institutions in the financial sector are beginning to appreciate the value added by the CU sector to the community.
Thank you for sharing Ravi, for more information on Lewisham Plus, visit their website at : https://pluscu.co.uk/