We are a not-for-profit financial co-operative serving the people of Hull, East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire and selected employers (common bond area) with fair and responsible savings and loans.
Our aim is to improve the financial well-being of our member-owners by providing ethical, affordable services that they are happy to continue using and recommending to their family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues.
We are here to help our members to afford their lives – not to make profit out of them. We’ve recently become one of only a handful of financial providers to be awarded a Fairbanking Mark, recognising our different approach to lending.
Over 12,000 members have already joined our “Credit Union family” and we are working hard to make them proud of our achievements as we create a forward-looking organisation that plans to be here to serve generations to come.
John E Smith ACIS
John Smith is Chief Executive of Hull & East Yorkshire Credit Union (HEYCU), the social enterprise that he helped to found, with a group of colleagues at Hull City Council in 1999. He has seen HEYCU develop and grow from a small savings club serving a single employer's workforce into a multi-functional community-wide business helping over 13,000 adult members and junior savers to manage their money wisely and looking after collective savings of nearly £10 million.
John is a Chartered Secretary by profession and is passionate about the values and ethics of the co-operative movement. His lifelong service to the movement included a decade as a non-executive director of The Co-operative Group.
John was born and brought up in the Hull area, where he lives with his wife, daughter and son. He is a member of the Governing Body of Appleton Primary School in the city.
Alan Hignett - President
Alan joined HEYCU soon after it was established. He hails from the West Midlands where he first became active as a volunteer in the Credit Union Movement. During this time Alan’s varied career included working in car factories and managing distribution businesses, before going back to education aged 35. On moving to Hull he joined Hull Social Services and is currently a Social Worker in Child Care.
Alan first volunteered for HEYCU's Credit Committee in 1999 and then became a Director in 2001. In 2013 he was chosen by his fellow directors to chair the Board of Directors as President. From 2009 to 2017 he was also an elected Director of the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL), the national trade association.
Andy Stankard - Vice President
Andy works for Hull City Council in a policy support and advice role for the Leader of the Council. He helped to draw up the Cabinet reports that led to the expansion of the Credit Union in 2004 and later joined the Board. He is also a Senior Steward and the Branch Chairperson of the Hull City Branch of UNISON and is a former President of the Hull and East Yorkshire Trade Union Council and Secretary of the Hull and District Co-operative Members Branch. He chairs the HEYCU Personnel & Training Committee.
Tony Craggs - Vice Chair of Audit & Risk Committee
Tony worked for Hull City Council for 30 years before being transferred to Kingstown Works Ltd in 2012 where he is the Finance Manager in Fleet. He played Sunday League football for many years and was Treasurer of the amateur football club. He has been a Credit Union Director since 2004, represented the Board on the Credit Committee and served as Treasurer. He was also Secretary of the Yorkshire Forum for ABCUL Credit Unions. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee.
John Bailey - Assistant Treasurer
John was one of the founder members of our Credit Union. He worked for Hull City Council for 30 years and was a Supervisor at their UPVC Doors and Windows factory before taking early retirement. During this time he recruited many staff colleagues into CU membership. A trade union representative for UCATT for 13 years, he was active in his local Labour Party branch and was also involved in the Co-op's Area Committee.
Allan first became involved in HEYCU as a workplace representative and in 2001 was appointed volunteer Credit Control Officer, before being elected to the Board in 2009.
Allan has worked in the Highways and Traffic Section of Hull City Council since 1988, and is currently Sustainable Transport Officer, with a particular interest in promoting cycling. He has also served as Treasurer for an investment club and other interests include cinema, theatre and architecture.
Sue Nicholson - Secretary
Sue had been involved with HEYCU for many years. She was a workplace representative and became a Director in January 2012.
Sue previously worked with Hull City Council for 20 years. She had several roles within the Council as Area Manager, Community Participation Officer and Community Development Officer.
Community work is Sue's passion and she spends much of her spare time supporting and chairing various groups and organisations. Sue currently works with the volunteer team for Hull City of Culture 2017.
Sue is our Credit Union Secretary.
Jane Walton - Treasurer
Jane joined the Board of Directors in December 2014 and serves as Treasurer and on the Audit & Risk committee. Jane's career in accounting for business began when joining a management programme with an international company. Jane worked as an Accounts Office Manager, before leaving aged 26 to study Business & Finance at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside. After graduation in 1995, she used her business skills to establish and develop her own family businesses. Jane advocates lifelong financial education, has a keen interest in personal finance and is currently working in an accountancy practice as a Client Manager.
Kate was previously a Director of North Lincolnshire Credit Union (now 'Northern Lincolnshire Credit Union, part of HEYCU') before election onto the HEYCU Board in 2015. She continues to volunteer at the Scunthorpe branch, which includes being a member of the Scunthorpe Local Members' Group.
Now retired, Kate also volunteers with Voluntary Action North Lincolnshire & Lincolnshire Royal British Legion Women's Section.
Bill was one of the original members of HEYCU and has supported its development and growth from day one. He is currently a volunteer at Driffield Branch. He is a Lancastrian, the son of a miner born in Leigh. He moved to Hull and East Riding in 1981 and made it his home because "It's a great place to live and the people are brilliant!". All Bill's four children were born here and still live in Yorkshire. He started work at 15 as an engineering apprentice and recently retired from public service after a varied career in the public and private sectors including Smith and Nephew, Hull City and North East Lincolnshire Councils. Bill has been a Chair of Governors at Bridgeview Special School, Vice-Chair of the East Riding Adult Education Committee and a Governor at a number of other schools. He also played Table Tennis in the Hull and District Table Tennis League for thirty years.
John joined the North Lincolnshire Credit Union in 2015. He has been employed in social housing for over 30 years and is currently Head of Housing Management at Ongo Homes (formerly North Lincolnshire Housing Association). He is actively promoting membership of the CU to Ongo's 300 staff and 10,000 customers.
John is married with two "grown-up" daughters. His interests outside work are food, wine, real ale, sport, films, theatre, gardening and decorating, exactly in that order!
Since 1964 credit unions in Britain have been providing their members with:
Credit unions are owned by their members – the people who use their services – and everything they do is for their benefit.
As co-operatives, we serve our members on a not-for-profit basis. Being owners, our members have a big say in the way we operate, and can vote to choose the directors who govern the organisation and make other important decisions. Each member’s ideas and opinions are valued equally no matter how much or how little they have in savings.
It’s a refreshing change from the big banks and other lending businesses who exist to make profits for their City shareholders and big bonuses for their managers.
Credit union members’ savings provide a large pool of funds to lend to those members who wish to borrow. Interest on the members’ loans (which – unlike many other lenders - is capped at an affordable rate, by law) pays the credit union’s running costs and allows funds to be re-invested in further development. Any surplus funds are then paid back to the members as a dividend on their savings.
In a credit union, lending decisions are normally made by people, not computers. By carefully assessing each applicant’s personal circumstances we focus on affordability and tailor the repayments to each member’s situation.
Credit unions are passionate about encouraging young people to develop a savings habit from an early age, so that they enter adult life with a good attitude to money and become financially independent. We run school banks and events to support money life skills.
Credit Unions have been supporting their local communities in this way for over 50 years and now provide safe savings, affordable loans and other financial products to over 1.2 million members in Great Britain.
Across the world there are now 60,500 credit unions in 109 countries with over 223 million members. Find out more on the WOCCU website.
Joining your credit union and being a loyal member through life is one of the best decisions you can make, for you and your money. Whenever you need to borrow, always give your credit union a chance to help. That way, you are helping your community as well as yourself.