What is a Common Bond?
Central to every credit union are its members and how their savings and loans benefit the wider community.
That’s why to become a member of a credit union you must have something in common.
This is known as a “Common Bond” and each credit unions defines its own parameters for enrolling new members.
Run democratically and in the interests of those people who use their services, credit unions ensure each members falls within the remit of their common bond.
This allows them to access a whole range of ethical savings and loans provided by the not-for-profit financial cooperative.
It also reflects the fact that credit unions are organisations run for the benefit of its members with a social connection.
Membership of a credit union is determined by the common bond in several ways.
It can offer membership to individuals who follow a particular occupation or who are employed by a particular company, organisation or industry.
Membership can also be restricted to people living or working in a certain area and this can vary from a small village to a large local authority.
Some credit unions also allow membership to individuals who live in the same household as a member and fall within one of the categories of the common bond.
It is the responsibility of the credit union to produce a membership rule that meets their requirements which is why the common bond is an essential part of the legislation governing the financial cooperative.
Credit unions are owned by the people who use their services, and not by external shareholders or investors. So the emphasis is always on providing the best service to members – not maximising profits.
Why not join a credit union today and become part of a community cooperative that benefits all?