About us

For people. Not profit. We envision our members having the opportunity to happily participate in all aspects of life.

What is Discovery Credit Union?

Formed in 2003, we are a locally based, not for profit, financial co-operative owned and run by its members, for its members.

We provide our members with a safe, secure place to save as well as a place to borrow money.

Our members all have something in common - we share what is known as a 'common bond' - we all live or work within DD1 through to DD11 or, we are employees or tenants of local councils or housing associations.

The Credit Union Mission Statement

The mission of the credit union is to promote the financial wellbeing 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 helpers in the office, all overseen by our 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 Discovery Credit Union will be consistently and professionally dedicated to the accomplishment of our mission - providing fair financial services for all.

How it works

When someone joins a credit union they open a share account and have shares in the credit union. It is known as a share account because individuals become part owner of the credit union. Your savings are your shares in the credit union. The value of your savings determines how many shares you have in the company.

Credit unions encourage members to save on a regular basis - how much you decide to save is entirely your own choice, and it may change over time and circumstance.

All our members' savings (shares) are pooled together. This pool is then used to make low interest loans to our members. We only lend to members of Discovery Credit Union. All savings are secured under FSCS https://www.fscs.org.uk/ up to £85,000.00 though the upper limit for savings with Discovery is £30,000.00.

We are directed and controlled by members who volunteer their time to sit on our Board of Directors.

Every member has an equal vote in the running of the credit union regardless of how many shares they own.

We hold an Annual General Meeting each year which gives our members an opportunity to have a say in how Discovery Credit Union is run and appoint the Board of Directors.

As a financial co-operative, instead of paying interest on your savings as high street banks and building societies do, any surplus the business makes after the deduction of operating costs and transfers to reserves, in line with legislative requirements, is returned to members in the form of a dividend. Annually at the AGM the Board of Directors will recommend whether a dividend shall be paid to members.

Thereby any profit made goes back into the community, and not to paying out big bonuses!

What's so different about Discovery Credit Union?
  • We don't have external shareholders to keep happy
  • We don't pay out big bonuses!
  • All our profits are reinvested in developing new services for its’ members
  • We help the local economy by keeping your money in the community
  • We won't take any unnecessary risks with your money
  • We are regulated and insured so you know your money is safe
  • You know you will be dealing with a friendly local face
  • We look after our members and their families by providing free life insurance on your savings and loans
Our Commitment to you

We Will

  • Put our members at the centre of our business;
  • Ensure our staff and volunteers are trained to deliver the best services;
  • be helpful, polite and treat our members fairly and with respect;
  • Listen to members and understand what is important to them;
  • Never cold call members to pressurise them into buying services;
  • Explain things clearly if the decision received is not what was hoped for;
  • Be open and honest in our conversations with members, even about the difficult things;
  • Produce clear and easly undestandable literature;
  • Provide products and services that are right for members needs;
  • keep members information and savings safe;
  • lend responsibly
Your commitment to us

We Will Ask You To

  • Treat our staff politely and with respect;
  • Commit to savings as you borrow;
  • Remember that the funds you borrow belong to your fellow members;
  • Tell us if you cannot meet your repayment – we will do out best to help you;
  • Provide us with truthful, accurate and up-to-date information;
  • Provide us with the information requested as soon as you can to process your enquiry;
  • Let us know if you can’t keep an appointment;
  • Let us be the first to know if you are unhappy with our service.
How we operate

Like all credit unions, Discovery Credit Union could not operate without all the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers.

Discovery Credit Union currently employs 5 members of staff:

  • General Manager
  • Finance Officer
  • 2 Member Services Officers
  • Member Services Assistant
Our Team of Volunteers

Volunteers are a valuable resource to Discovery Credit Union. They contribute their time and enthusiasm to compliment the work of our paid staff. In the office our team carry out all activities to help ensure the smooth operation of the Credit Union.

If you have some spare time on your hands and would like to find out more about volunteering with Discovery Credit Union, we are always welcome to receive enquiries. Please visit our Volunteering page for more details.

Who manages Discovery Credit Union?

The strategic leaders in our organisation are all members who come from a variety of walks in life to form our Board of Directors.

The Directors are responsible for looking after your money, developing the business and ensuring we comply with our regulators - the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

Directors have to be approved as 'fit and proper' by the FCA before they are allowed to make any decisions and receive full training for their role.

The Board meets each month to monitor the performance of the credit union and make business decisions. We also have sub committees who may meet on a more regular basis to look at specific parts of the business in more detail such as finance, marketing and HR issues and make recommendations to the Board.

Directors come from within the membership and serve for a period of three years before seeking re-election at our Annual General Meeting.

If you think you have got what it takes and would be interested in joining our board, please visit our Volunteering page for further details.

Supervisory Committee

Known as the eyes and ears of the credit union, the Supervisory Committee acts as our internal audit ensuring the staff, volunteers and board members conduct the business as laid down in our policy and procedures.

Our Credit and Supervisory Committees are always welcoming members who would like to get a little more involved, so again, if you have some spare time on your hands, please visit our Volunteering page for more information on volunteering with Discovery Credit Union.

The Credit Union Story

The modern credit union movement traces its origins to Germany and to Friedrich Willheim Raiffeisen, The Mayor of a small town in southern Germany, who in 1849 formed societies, which later evolved into credit unions. The purpose 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'. Discovery Credit Union's common bond is that all members live, work, volunteer or study in Dundee.

Credit Unions in the UK were in existence for some time before the movement gained momentum in 1979, when the Credit Unions Act was passed.

Since then, the Credit Union philosophy of mutual self-help has proved very popular, and there are now over 450 credit unions affiliated to the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) throughout Scotland, England and Wales.

At the end of December 2023, the British credit union sector had:

  • 378 credit unions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Over 2 million people using credit unions, including over 100,000 junior depositors
  • Total assets of £4.7 billion
  • Total loans of £2.46 billion
  • Total deposits of £4 billion

Source: Bank of England Credit Union Quarterly Statistics Q4 2023

Around the World

While credit unions in Britain remain relatively small, internationally there are:

  • Active credit union sectors in 98 countries with 82,758 credit unions
  • More than 403 million credit union members
  • Assets of over $3.6 trillion
  • Loans of over $2.4 trillion
  • Deposits of over $2.9 trillion

High penetration rates in many developed countries:

  • 61% in USA
  • 43% in Canada
  • 36% in Australia

Source: WOCCU Statistical Report 2022