to help both credit unions
build better programs and services
WOLVERHAMPTON, UK and JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – October 21, 2021 - Community First Credit Union and Penny Post Credit Union in Wolverhampton, UK announce a working partnership to strengthen the credit unions and the credit union movement across two countries. The partnership is a pilot program led by the League of Southern Credit Unions (LSCU) and the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL). This partnership is the first of its kind for a Jacksonville-based credit union and a first for one in Wolverhampton.
The credit unions announced the partnership on International Credit Union Day which celebrates the spirit of the global credit union movement. The World Council of credit unions founded this day to recognize and reflect on the credit union movement's history, promote its achievements, recognize hard work and share member experiences. International Credit Union (ICU) Day has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Community First and are greatly looking forward to the positive results this brings for the benefit of members on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Matt Goulding, CEO of Penny Post Credit Union. “Whilst we may be separated by thousands of miles, we are united in our common goal to provide the best possible service to members to support them in building financial health for a brighter tomorrow.”
Penny Post was formed in 1996 as a joint project between Royal Mail, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the Communication and Managers’ Association (CMA) and Welfare Services. The common bond was initially the West Midlands area and expanded to cover Royal Mail Group employees across the whole of the UK. From small beginnings, Penny Post has grown to £34 million in assets and 11,500 members. It is now proud to be one of the largest credit unions in the UK.
Community First Credit Union was founded in 1935 as the Duval County Teachers Credit Union. In more than 86 years the credit union has grown to 19 branches with more than 155,000 members across the First Coast and the Eastern coastal counties of Florida.
The two credit unions will work together to share ideas and experiences for their mutual benefit. Both credit unions are already considered to be innovative and forward-thinking. They will work together to leverage these traits, learn from one another and become even more successful. Both credit unions have a strong belief in working collaboratively and are looking for ways to develop and improve their members’ banking experiences and overall engagement. Projects and programs include project management, information technology, branding, website design and growth strategies.
“We are happy to partner with the team at Penny Post to learn from one another for the greater good,” said John Hirabayashi, president and CEO of Community First. “While there is a sizeable difference in size between our organizations, we have much in common in how we see the world and how credit unions can make a positive difference in people’s lives.”
Named “Credit Union of the Year” (2020, large asset category) by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions Community First Credit Union of Florida is a state-chartered credit union based in Jacksonville serving anyone who lives or works on the First Coast. Community First is one of the largest credit unions in the state, serving more than 155,000 members with assets of $2.4 billion. Community First has 19 locations and 340 employees. A not-for-profit, Community First is a full-service financial institution offering banking, loans, mortgages and investments for consumers and businesses across the First Coast.