ST ALBANS DISTRICT CREDIT UNION LIMITED

 Fourteenth Annual General Meeting

     Monday 14th March 2016 8.00pm Hatfield Road Methodist Church, St Albans


Minutes of Meeting


Present: Chairman, Colin Metcalfe; Treasurer, David Edwards; Secretary, Keith Whiteford and 25 other members


1. Apologies for Absence

A list of apologies is available on request.

 

2. Minutes of twelfth Annual General Meeting held on 16th March 2015

The minutes were approved without amendment.


3. Chairman’s Report

Colin Metcalfe presented his written report which was available to attendees. The data presented showed the development of the CU over the year:


















He noted that 2014/15 was a year with some good growth but areas that were weaker. The outcome overall however continued to be positive. Total membership remained quite steady with junior members increasing but full members showing a slight fall as more non-active crisis loan members were removed from the register. Share deposits increased significantly; up by just over £150,000 in total, with both adult and junior saving showing good growth. However it was again the level of borrowing that presented the Credit Union with its biggest challenge. In the year we granted slightly more Credit Union loans, with a total of 127 and a value of £153,563, compared with 119 and £123,506 respectively in the previous year, but these figures compare with an average of over £200,000 that we were granting in each of the three years prior to this. Consequently the loan book has been declining for the last two years and at the end of the financial year the CU had only £222,000 of member’s money out on loan. At that time the total loans granted since formation was just over £1.8 million. Much of this reduction has been due to a tighter control of our lending over the last two years and this, together with the fees received for administering the loan scheme for the District Council, means that we can report a healthy surplus for the year and the Board is again proposing an end of year dividend.   


In the year the CU also granted 22 Local Authority loans with a value of £40,092, many of which assisted local families into private sector housing. The loan scheme with the District Council is continuing for the 2015/16 year but as reported at last year’s AGM, the arrangement with the County Council to manage their crisis loans lapsed in March 2015.


The Credit Union’s arrangement with both Unite and Unison Trade Unions as their preferred credit union within Hertfordshire has continued, although these arrangements have not yet generated the extra business hoped for.


In the first quarter of the 2015/16 year, the Credit Union has seen a steady increase in the value of loans  granted; £68,000 in the three months. However it is still proving difficult to attract ‘good’ loan applications and since Christmas there has been a general falling off of applications. The Board and its committees have, for some time, been reviewing ways in which the Credit Union can increase its loans book. Over the past year a number of methods of marketing new loans have been tried, including door to door leaflet drops in targeted areas of St Albans, encouraging existing members with lower interest loyalty loans and targeting local rail travelers with season ticket loans. More recently the Credit Committee has been working on two new loan products; a Christmas Savings Loan and a low interest Homeowner’s Loan which it is hoped will compete with other loans on the market.


He emphasized that the best advertisement for the Credit Union is still the recommendations of members, often resulting from the personal service that the CU can offer. Repeat loans continue to be a fruitful source of applications and we can normally deal very quickly with these and other applications from existing members. The CU has money available to be loaned out at competitive rates and he asked that attendees think of the credit union first if they need a new boiler, a major car repair, that special holiday or a much needed home improvement.


At last year’s AGM, the CU reported that it was looking at how it could upgrade its IT systems and technology so that it could offer the higher level of service which many consumers are coming to expect. Colin reported that, following a successful application, the CU was awarded a grant of £20,000 from the Lloyds Banking Group Credit Union Development Fund to specifically improve its back office systems. A working group is currently reviewing options and the Board is due to look at their proposals at the end of March. It is expected that the improvements will allow online access to member’s accounts, together with providing a more efficient service for members.


The office in Hatfield Road continues to be very well used. Harpenden, London Colney and Wheathampstead continue their limited opening and provide an important presence in their communities. We continue to run a single session each Wednesday in the Local Services Hub based in the St Albans Civic Centre.


Colin acknowledged that the CU was sorry to lose Sheila Broadhead during the year after her long service first as a director and latterly as the office manager in St Albans. Office management is now in the safe hands of Martin Hunt, who is the organisation’s sole paid employee.

The Marketing Group has sought marketing leads by attending a number of community events and local forums and by visiting hospitals, churches, businesses and community groups. Credit Notes 19 was issued and was distributed to all members and within the local community. The CU’s online presence is becoming increasingly important for the future progress of the organisation and he thanked John Humphreys for maintaining and updating our website throughout the year and also to Sarah Galligan for developing the Credit Union’s social media presence.


Treasure Chest schemes continue to run in a number of local primary schools. Our thanks go to the teachers and helpers in the various schools.  


The CU continues to participate in local Credit Union Forums where experiences can be shared with other credit unions. As a member of ABCUL’s Eastern Region, Board members have attended regional meetings as well as those of the more local Hertfordshire Credit Union Forum  


Colin recorded his thanks to those who have helped keep the Credit Union running this year:

a) To the team of office volunteers in St Albans and other customer centres who do a great job as the public face of the Credit Union.

b) To the finance, marketing, credit control, and recovery teams.

c) To the loan officers who continue to make difficult decisions on the CU’s behalf.

d) To the Supervisory Committee.

e) To his colleagues on the Board for their commitment to the continued development of the Credit Union.


Finally his thanks went to all those members who have continued to support the work of the Credit Union over many years.


4. Treasurer’s Report

David Edwards took the meeting through the major points in the accounts, already circulated to members.  He started with the balance sheet and comparing 2015 with the previous year, gross loans to members fell by £56,000 during the year, in practice because loans were repaid faster than new loans were granted, at the end of the year, 3/5 of loans were from CU members’ money and 2/5 from local authority money and this is reflected in the £133,000 liability to local authorities.  Loan provisions fell by £18,000, in line with the reduction in the loan book and cash and bank accounts grew by £183,000, mainly due to the increase in savings of £151,000.  David pointed out that the CU tries to maximise the money on deposit but the interest receive is very low and the CU is also constrained by not being able to invest money for more than 12 months.  He added that thanks to trading profitably, the total capital, including reserves grew to £96,000, which represents 9.7% of total assets, the key ratio used by regulators

 

He then turned to the Income & Expenditure report and he noted that interest income had fallen because of lower loan balances, donations were higher because of a donation from a church-related organisation and other income was lower because of the end of the contract for administering Crisis Loans.  On the expenses front office renewal costs were lower, because of the cost of refurbishing the office in the previous year, salary was higher because last year was only a part year and bad debt costs were reduced by a further £12,000 following the change in our lending policy and improved credit control.  This all resulted in a profit of £19,000 and the accounts also show the dividend that was paid for the first time last year.

 

Finally he thanked the Finance team of Chris Hall, Vicki Hadley, John Lickiss and Quentin Keeling for all their good work.


5.         Dividend Distribution

The Board advised that the Credit Union was in a position to pay a dividend of 0.6% of members average share balance in respect of the 2014-15.  It was noted that the dividend is paid before the deduction of tax and that individual members are responsible for reporting this income to the tax authorities.   The Dividend was proposed by Alan Ellerton seconded by Sandy Walkington and passed unanimously by a show of hands.

 


6.         Auditor’s report and Adoption of Accounts

The Treasurer drew the meeting’s attention to the penultimate and final paragraphs of the Auditors’ certificate which opined that the credit union was able to continue to trade and that the financial statements gave a true and fair view of the state of the credit union’s affairs and had been properly prepared in accordance with the relevant legislation. The Auditors had once again commented on the high standard of the accounts.


A resolution to adopt the accounts was proposed by David Edwards, seconded by Diana Graham and was endorsed unanimously by a show of hands.


  7. Supervisory Committee Report

Sola Akinola introduced herself as the new chair of the Credit Union Supervisory Committee having taken over from Andrew Petch and presented a report on the work of the Committee.


She noted that she has worked as part of this committee alongside Andrew Petch since 2012 and the committee is now made up of her and two other members, Scott Prentice and Idy Osibodu who both joined the Supervisory committee at the end of September.


She pointed out that after a change in reporting dates mentioned at the last AGM that this report therefore covers activities in the 12 months ended 31st December 2015.


The operational programme of the committee was controlled by the use of a calendar of supervisory tasks derived from a model produced by ABCUL. Each committee member took responsibility for a number of these checks and the results were reported to the Management Board in four quarterly reports.


She detailed the tasks undertaken by the Committee in the period:


Attendance at Management Board meetings and participation in discussions relating to the efficient running of the credit union.

Attendance at strategy planning sessions.

Checking, verifying and signing off the quarterly FSA return.

Reviewing cash control procedures and subsequently undertaking surprise till checks.

Checking the documents and procedures associated with a sample of new loans.

Reviewing printed material produced by the CU such as forms, newsletters, flyers etc.

Reviewing the possible money laundering implications of large deposits.

Verifying that all audit issues had been responded to and acted upon.

Reviewing a sample of closed accounts and making recommendations on the process. Our recommendations led to the credit union implementing more efficient processes around closed accounts.

Reviewing a sample of  mailings from the End Of Year general issue

Reviewing the files of our directors, including those with loans.

Examining our procedures for year-end closing and New Year opening of books.

Reviewing the internal controls in the area of investments.

Reviewing the documentation for a sample of new members.

Verifying that our Fidelity Bond has been renewed.

Verifying that the CU’s operating budget includes funding for external auditing.

Verifying that the CU has business plans going forward and that these are regularly reviewed at both a short term and a strategic level.

Validating directors' expenses claims where appropriate.

Going forward, the committee will further report on the verification of official, employee, and related family accounts but in the committee’s current review of loans shows that proper processes are being followed in the approval of member loans.


She reported that checks revealed no problems of major significance during the period and that these findings were underscored by our auditors who found that the credit union is extremely well run and that all FSA procedures are complied with.


Sola ended her report by thanking Andy for his work on the committee and also Scott and Idy, who have provided valuable fresh insight to many of the areas that we review.



  8.         Election of Directors

Under the rules, one third of directors retired each year. John Lickiss, Freda Chaloner and Keith Whiteford are retiring by rotation and offered themselves for re-election and Andrew Petch and Neil Deshpande offered themselves for election.  Proposed by Sandy Walkington seconded by Donald Robertson, the aforementioned were elected unanimously by a show of hands.


 9.        Election of Members of Credit and Supervisory Committees

a. Credit Committee: Arthur Chapman, Sue Lomas, Keith Whiteford, Anthony Baker and Freda Chaloner offered themselves for re-election and Rita Waldron and David Moore offered themselves for election. Proposed by Andy Petch, seconded by Diana Graham, approved unanimously by a show of hands.


b. Supervisory Committee: Olusola Akinola offered herself for re-election and Idy Osibodu and Scott Prentice offered themselves for election, Proposed by Alan Ellerton, seconded by, Arthur Chapman, approved unanimously by a show of hands.


10.       Appointment of Auditors

The re-appointment of Appleby & Wood as Auditors was proposed by John Lickiss and seconded by Sandy Walkington – approved unanimously by a show of hands.


11.      Any Other Business

There was a short question and answer session.


Meeting closed.

Distribution: Available on request to all members of St Albans District Credit Union and via www.stadcu.org.


Year 2014/15

Year 2013/14

Members

Adult

Junior

Total

1180

540

1720

1245

511

1756

Saings - £000

Adult

Junior
Total

636

82

718

505

61

567

Loans Granted

£000

CU

Other

Total

154

40

194

123

96

219

Out on Loan

£000

CU Funds

Other Funds

Total

222

155

377

254

179

433

Total Assets £000 (year-end)

986

840

Surplus £000

18.5

23.1