The socialism I believe in is everyone working for each other, everyone having a share of the rewards. It's the way I see football, the way I see life. - Bill Shankly
Spirit of Shankly joined forces with Partners Credit Union a number of years ago to offer our members and associate members access to ethical, affordable and accessible financial services, including an SOS Season Ticket Loan.
At the time the Hicks Gillet saga was ongoing at Liverpool Football Club and it was envisaged that our members would be able to save a regular amount of money towards the anticipated £500 "entry level" for a supporter investment proposal to Liverpool Football Club.
Obviously this issue is not so urgent now, but access to financial services for our member is, particularly in the current economic climate.
Credit Unions are not-for-profit financial services co-operatives. Partners provide services for the benefit of their members only – local people who live or work in the county of Merseyside, members and associate members of SOS (UK only) and anyone who works for an employer who has a base within Merseyside.
Our Credit Union has lots of products available to members and has many years of operational experience. Partners is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and subject to strict rules about how the credit union is run. Partners is also covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per member.
Credit Unions are run by a volunteer Board of Directors, elected by the members from the members, who are approved by the regulators as appropriate people to manage the credit union. Professional staff teams are employed to manage the day to day operations and provide member services in accordance with the policies set by the Board. We’re a safe, ethical and local place to do your financial business. We provide services to everyone in our membership area and for some people we are their only alternative to high cost lenders and loan sharks. We help keep money circulating in our local economy, making us all better off.
IWhy did SOS choose a Credit Union and why Partners?
To become a reality, our supporter ownership campaign had to address the issues of affordability and establishing a secure mechanism for holding supporters’ funds. A Credit Union complements the Spirit of Shankly aims and principles and will enable everybody to get involved in the supporter ownership of Liverpool Football Club. You can save as little or as much as you like and take advantage of many of the other benefits of being a Credit Union member. Any money being saved with the Credit Union is totally safe, secure and protected and because it is a co-operative organisation, it works for everybody who is a member and not external shareholders.
It was far too lengthy, complex and costly for SOS to establish its own Credit Union, so we contacted Partners, one of the largest Credit Unions in the country which has been established for over 20 years. They are a successful, stable and sustainable organisation and currently any SOS members or associate members who live in the UK can join.
Membership of the Liverpool Supporters’ Union (SOS) is our common bond and by joining the Credit Union you automatically become an associate member (full membership is £10 per year). We have worked together for a number of years now to offer organisational membership of Partners via SOS and as a result of this we will be known as ‘Partners Credit Union – Spirit of Shankly Division'.
How does it work?
You can join the Credit Union by completing a simple form and opening your main Credit Union Membership Savings Account, agreeing to save at least £2.00 per week in that account. You can join online at www.partnerscreditunion.co.uk if this is easier for you. This is your own personal savings account and can be used for whatever you wish. This is also the account linked to Partners' Multiplier Loans. By opening up a Credit Union Account you become eligible for the Season Ticket Loan which is only available to members of SOS who are members of Partners.
Once your application has been received you will be sent all the relevant information you need.
Investing for supporter ownership
Members of SOS will be consulted on the details of any investment negotiations and any proposals for a supporters' share in Liverpool Football Club that may subsequently emerge. Without the approval of our members, no proposals will be agreed or acted upon. Once our members have agreed to approve a supporter investment, it is completely your decision whether you choose to use the money that you have saved in your Credit Union Account to invest in a supporter ownership scheme. The money you have saved in the Credit Union is yours to do with what you wish.
SOS believes that £500 represents a viable "entry level" for supporters wishing to invest in a supporter ownership scheme. As such we envisage our proposals will be based around a sum of £500 per share. In the event of an opportunity arising for supporters to invest in a stake in Liverpool Football Club, those members of the Credit Union paying into an SOS Share Account who have not yet managed to save £500 will be able to, if eligible, borrow the balance they require from the Credit Union or they may choose to carry on saving in order to purchase their share at a later date.
Season Ticket Loans
While the Credit Union provides an opportunity to take advantage of ethical financial services, SOS hopes it will also provide a means of making other major expenses, such as season tickets and cup finals more affordable for supporters. We have been able to work with Partners Credit Union to offer our members Season Ticket Loans. To be eligible for this loan you need to have been a member of the Credit Union for 10 weeks and to have been paying money into your Credit Union Account on a regular basis. Up to £2,000 (per family) is available to borrow and the loan must be repaid within 12 months. Loans will be paid direct to Liverpool Football Club or directly to a credit card account if the season ticket has been purchased in this way. The rates available for the loan are much cheaper than those of the credit cards. Please note that documentation or a credit check will be required to verify the loan and no cash payments are available.
As a Credit Union member you will be able to take advantage of other Partners products and services.
* Membership Savings Account
* Christmas and Holiday Savings Account
* Savings Accounts for Children
* Cash ISAs (2014/2015 tax year – fixed rate 2%)
* Personal Loans up to £15, 000
* Payday Loans – up to £400
* Revolving Credit Account – like a Credit Card without the card.
* Business Loans
* Rent Direct and Budget Accounts
* CredEcard – prepaid visa debit card with e-banking and envelope account for budgeting
* Members Only Lottery
* FREE life insurance on savings and loans
What it costs
* £2 joining fee – one off
* £5 Annual Administration Fee
What to do next…
1. Join online at www.partnerscreditunion.co.uk
2. Call into one of Partners offices – see website for details (Dale Street, Bootle, St Helens and Wirral offices)
3. Ring / email us for a joining form 0151 258 1014 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, because of the uniqueness of Credit Unions, your savings and loans are covered by FREE insurance. This means in the event of your death, your next of kin will receive double what you have in savings and your loan will be paid off. As with all of our products and services, terms and conditions do apply and you should check upon application what those are. The money you save in the Credit Union is safe and secure and cannot be accessed or used by anyone else. This money is yours and yours alone. Members can close their accounts at any time (unless they have a loan in force which they must pay in full at the time of closure). The information Partners hold about you and your accounts is totally confidential and they will not divulge details of your accounts to anyone but you.
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