What are credit unions and building societies?
Credit unions and mutual building societies are co-operatively owned, so when you open an account there, you become an owner as well. We call our owners ‘Members’.
Not-for-profit financial services co-operatives, owned by and for New Zealanders.
A credit union or building society offers many of the same kind of products and services you’d find at a bank, like savings accounts, loans, eftpos cards and insurance. Credit unions and mutual building societies are co-operatively owned, so when you open an account there, you become an owner as well. We call our owners ‘Members’.
Co-operatively owned credit unions and mutual building societies play an important role in the New Zealand financial services market and have a long and proud history of serving communities across the country.
Our Member credit unions and building societies are not registered banks, but they are non-bank deposit takers, regulated and monitored by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and supervised by licensed trustees.
Can anyone join a credit union or building society?
Yes! There are credit unions and mutual building societies in New Zealand for every family in every community. You just need to open an account there, and enjoy the benefits!
What else do credit unions do?
Whether you’re in debt, have something special you’re saving for, or just want to deal with people who honestly care about helping you, a credit union or building society is a great place to be.
Credit unions and building societies really want to help you get your finances sorted and will work with you personally to help you get ahead – no matter what situation you might be in.
Helping people understand about budgeting and the importance of saving is at the heart of every credit union and building society, and we work hard to support the communities we are involved in.
We think it’s really important that profits are distributed back to Members in New Zealand and do not go offshore. This means credit unions and building societies are an attractive local alternative to big, offshore owned banks.
What’s so special about ‘co-operative ownership’?
Being a co-operative means that the credit union or building society is there to serve you, its member-owners, and not to make profits for outside shareholders.
Any profits made are given back to you as a member through a combination of more advantageous interest rates, fair fees, improved customer service and community sponsorship. That means the money stays in your local community and within New Zealand. We think that’s really important.
Do I have to do anything special as a ‘member’?
You can just enjoy the genuine, personal service you’ll receive at your local branch (some people say it’s a bit like being part of a family), or you can get more involved if you want to.
As you’re a member, you can have a say in who runs your credit union or building society by voting in the annual general meeting and you could even put yourself forward as a board member if you like.
“Credit unions and building societies have been around for hundreds of years, which means they have a lot of knowledge and experience to help teach New Zealanders’ healthy financial habits for life.”