East Sussex Credit Union -

savings & loans co-operative

Helping Local people Manage Money


Contact Details

Tel 01273 234858



The East Sussex Credit Union is a not for profit organisation, which is a savings and loans co-operative, regulated by the FSA. We actively work towards combating poverty in the community and helping people avoid the need to use unscrupulous ‘doorstep’ money lenders or ‘loan sharks’, by providing a savings and loans facility to those who do not have High Street bank accounts or who are on welfare benefits, and those, who for other reasons, cannot access savings accounts or affordable credit.

We also particularly encourage the whole community to become ethical savers which then allows us in turn, to offer more loans. Everyone who saves with us, or has a loan, becomes a ‘member’ of the Credit Union and has a say in its future. They also vote annually on whether and how much ‘dividend’, (a form of interest), should be paid on savings. It is truly a people’s co-operative, as any dividend paid goes solely to our members and the local community.

The Credit Union will now be operating in the Crowborough area and a member of our team will be based there to promote Credit Union activities to local communities, in partnership with, and funded by, the Crowborough Partnership and Wealden District Council.

To celebrate the commencement of this local service, which is a pilot, and which, it is hoped, will be rolled out over a wider area, and to help generate as much publicity as possible, a high profile launch event was held on Monday 28th June 2010.


Credit Union Expresses Concern For Low Income Groups

 Credit Union manager, Colin Holden is working with the Citizens Advice Bureau, Crowborough Partnership, local Churches and Community Organisations such as the Alderbrook Community Association to make the Credit Union more accessible.

The East Sussex Credit Union is a community savings and loan co-operative, where members pool their savings to lend to one another.  They cover Brighton and Hove, and the whole of East Sussex.

Since the launch of the credit union in 2002, the organisation has provided more than a fifteen hundred loans to members who would otherwise have had to use a high-interest provider, typically a doorstep lender. By doing so the financial services provider believes that it has saved people on the lowest incomes an estimated £100,000 in interest payments 2008 alone.

According to a recent report by the South East England Development Agency, in the South East region there are 209,000 people with no access to credit, 146,000 people were without a bank account, and over 75,000 were unable to make contact with money advice services. The government has recognised this shortfall and is committed to investing £38million in community finance over the next three years.


Head of Consumer Futures at the National Consumer Council, Claire Whyley commented at the opening of the Credit Union’s Head Quarters in Queens Road Brighton earlier in 2008 “Credit unions are, undoubtedly, the key to providing affordable credit to people who badly need it, and it's encouraging to see so many stepping up to meet the challenge.”

The credit union has 2,500 members, one of whom is Graham Hickman who works for the Financial Services Authority and lives in Seven Dials. "Like many people, I want to live in a society which is more equal and inclusive”, says Graham “The credit union offers me an ethical and safe way to save while strengthening the local community. The credit union is friendly, well run and the credit rates are competitive. It really is an alternative to banks."