The 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death is not the only special anniversary this year: Scotwest Credit Union is 25! Why does that matter? Well in many ways it doesn’t: Scotwest grew to a sustainable size and business model many years ago and, if we didn’t mention it, nothing would change: Members would continue save and borrow and receive 1st class personal service.
But that’s the point: nothing would change. Instead we want to use the 25th Anniversary as a platform to move Scotwest on to another level. There are already 30,000 of us in the west of Scotland enjoying the benefits which comes from owning our own financial institution, but there is another 2 million out there who could do so too, if only they knew! The bigger Scotwest becomes the better we will be and the bigger influence we will have on our society, so we want to use the 25th anniversary as a platform for engagement and growth. Rest assured, however, that I will never let growth dilute our credit union ethos – we are “people helping people” and always will be.
Social media is an efficient (i.e. cheap) way of spreading the word and (apparently) a “CEO Blog” is a core part of that (hence the title of this piece). I have therefore undertaken to provide a commentary on both some of the key things happening in Scotwest and on how we are trying to positively influence the community in which we live.
I hope that I can produce something that you will want to read and, just as importantly, share.
Scotwest in the Community
Credit Unions strive for the economic empowerment of our members and for the general financial well-being of the community in which they live. As a result, my specific role at Scotwest involves a lot of external interaction with a view to promoting Scotwest, influencing policy and identifying business opportunities and I therefore I will use this part of the blog to highlight some of the community activities in which I engage.
This month I thought I would highlight our membership of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre as I attended a meeting of its Financial Resilience Credit Union Sub Group this month. The SBRC are a unique organisation comprising contributions and secondments from Police Scotland, Scottish Government, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and major banks with the objective of creating environment where business can trade and prosper securely. Membership of the centre in particular provides Scotwest with access to advice on physical and cyber security and helps is mitigate our risk in these areas. We actively participate in the Financial Resilience Group (which focusses on threats to the financial sector as a whole) and its Credit Union Sub Group (which focusses on CU specific threats and the dissemination of good practice within the sector). We recently had cause to report attempted fraud to the Police and utilisation of the SBRC’s advice provided us with the reassurance that we were providing Police Scotland with all of the information which they would require to pursue the case.
Kenny MacLeod, CEO