Credit Union

A small-scale fund set up by people with a common bond of some kind, such as living in the same area, or working in a firm that can make a useful contribution to local needs and employment, but could not compete if it were fully exposed to the market economy.

Members of the union have to purchase some minimum number of shares, which may be as little as £1’s worth, up to a usual maximum of around £5,000, for which they receive interest in the form of dividends. The union then lends money to local people and small enterprises, and this money is therefore kept working within the area, instead of draining away into areas with stronger economies, or into the world market.

Credit unions’ aim is cooperative microcredit, rather than competitive pricing, so they can maintain a constant rate of interest, independently of how much mainstream rates may fluctuate. They can also provide banking facilities so that local people can pay in money, draw it out, and pay bills without having to travel into the town centre, which is necessary in poorer parts of town where the commercial banks have no branches.C269


Related entries:

Vernacular, Casuistry, Socially Solvent, Social Mobility, Closed Access, Usury.

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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a pioneer of post-growth economics, and a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, 'Lean Logic' and 'Surviving the Future', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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