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bristolcreditunionWhat is Bristol Credit Union?

Bristol Credit Union (or BCU) is a financial services co-operative providing ethical community banking for people and organisations in the former Avon County area.

We are owned and controlled by our customers – who are members – and exist solely to provide services for them.

As part of our outreach in the community we have become one of Bristol Credit Unions new Service Point, Trust volunteers and staff are available Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.

You can open an account, hand in application forms and get information about BCU services.

For more information please visit

BCU governance

BCU is run by a volunteer Board of Directors who are elected by members. The Directors set policy, agree business and development plans, and have ultimate responsibility for ensuring the safety and soundness of BCU is maintained for members’ benefit.

The Directors employ a professional staff team to deliver services and to assist them in the on-going development of the credit union.

The Credit Union Mission Statement

The mission of the credit union is to promote the financial well being of its members. To achieve this purpose the credit union is committed to providing a broad range of innovative financial products supported by the excellent service of a dedicated, well-trained staff team, assisted by volunteers from service point staff to the helpers in the office, all overseen by our voluntary Board of Directors.

Our fair financial products and services are administered in accordance with sound management practices to maintain the financial strength of the credit union. The Board of Directors, Management and Staff of the credit union hereby affirm that the efforts of Bristol Credit Union will be consistently and professionally dedicated to the accomplishment of our mission – providing fair financial services for all. 

The Credit Union Story

The modern Credit Union movement traces its origins to Germany and to Friedrich Willhelm Raiffeisen, the Mayor of a small town in southern Germany, who in 1849 formed societies, which later evolved in to Credit Unions. The purposes of these Credit Unions was to enable people to help themselves in relieving debt and poverty.

A Credit Union is a democratic, financial co-operative owned and controlled by its own members. Each Credit Union is run only to benefit its members, all of whom have something in common – the common bond.

The credit union movement was introduced into Great Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, primarily by groups from other countries such as Ireland or the Caribbean countries who found it hard to get banking services except by organising them themselves.

Since then, the credit union philosophy of mutual self-help has proved very popular, with credit unions having a legal form following the passage of the 1979 Credit Union Act, and continuing to grow at an increasing rate since then. There are over 450 credit unions throughout the country.

In Great Britain over a million members and young savers have recognized the value of credit unions, and have savings approaching a billion pounds with their credit unions. There are thousands employed in the sector and many more thousands are volunteers involved in the movement. 

Credit Unions around the world

There are over 51,000 credit unions with over 196 million members in 100 different countries around the world.

The credit union concept – delivering financial services for member-benefit and not for private profit has proven itself over more than 100 years, in many different places and economic circumstances.

Legal and regulatory information

Bristol Credit Union Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Our Firm Reference Number is 213583. You can check our details on the Financial Services Register by clicking here or going to

We are members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and we subscribe to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Credit Unions in Great Britain are set up under the Credit Unions Act 1979 and the Industrial & Provident Societies Act 1965. Our mutuals registration number is IP00597C (at Companies House) or just 597C on the FSA Mutuals Register which can be found here or at

Privacy Notice

You can download a copy of our Privacy Notice which deals with how we collect and use your personal information here:

ClickDownload BCU Privacy Notice (133.7kb)