About the Credit Union
Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union aims to improve and enrich the lives of individual people in the Ballymena area by offering a Savings and Loan service, powered by our own community.
Slemish n tha Braid aims to see a vibrant, peaceful community across the Ballymena area where everyone has access to a ‘community savings and loan service’, thus creating choices and opportunities for people, and eradicating the negative outcomes of social and financial exclusion.
Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union is member owned by local people across the Ballymena area. It is not for profit and a socially responsible financial co-operative which is both focused on, and managed by the local Ballymena area community.
The credit union promotes regular saving and responsible lending ie; saving what you can and borrowing what you can comfortably afford to pay back all at a reasonable rate of interest.
Members entrust their money to the Credit Union in the form of shares. The Credit Union can then use a portion of this pool of money so their members can avail of loans with a low rate of interest.
The Credit Union can benefit everybody within the local Ballymena area community, especially those who have restricted access to financial services elsewhere and the promotion of welfare within the Ballymena community gives a more personal approach to finance.
The ‘not for profit’ ethos means that the Credit Unions gives money back to their members in the form of an annual dividend.
The Credit Union also provide services intended to support community development around Ballymena on a local level and could be considered a Ballymena community development financial institution.
History and Culture
Over twenty years ago a few forward thinking people in Ballymena decided to investigate the possibility of creating a Credit Union which could be used to provide financially inclusive services to the local Ballymena community through savings with a view to the possible lending of small loans.
They proceeded to set about learning the rules which would allow this Credit Union to develop, folk lore tells us that the first day of trading under their chosen name, Slemish Credit Union Ltd. which took place in the old Minor Town Hall in Ballymena, a princely sum of £7.00 was collected against hall rent of £10.00.
Shortly after the formation of Slemish Credit Union Ltd., another group of like minded people in the villages of Broughshane and Glenarm, an area more commonly known as ‘the Braid’, came together to form Braid Credit Union Ltd.
In 2007 it became very clear to the volunteer directors of both Credit Unions that there were common synergies pertinent to both organisations that when properly harnessed would allow both Credit Unions to successfully merge, merge they indeed did and Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union Ltd. was formed, an organisation which today stands with assets worth circa £2.2M.
What was created was something very special, an institution with a common bond which stretches from the River Maine in Cullybackey to the Irish Sea at Glenarm and from Cloughmills to Connor.
An institution not only mindful of the rich ‘culture & heritage’ of our communities but also aware of the need to embrace ‘change’, the same ‘change’ which has seen our beloved province move away from forty years of sectarian torment to a society which welcomes and respects all races & religions.
The ‘change’ alluded to above also affected our business in other ways, ‘gender equality’ arrived in our boardroom, today we have an eleven person board, six males, five females all supported by a female manager.
Today we also currently employ seven female tellers and administration staff.
That said we continue to write our history, and this current trading year of 2015/16 will see us lay the celebrate 1 Year since the opening of our new principal and Registered Office on the former Raglan Bar site, Queen Street, Ballymena, a clear and unequivocal demonstration of our commitment to the environmental and social regeneration of our community.