South Warwickshire Credit Union Limited
IS NOW CLOSED FOR BUSINESS
(But there really isn’t anything to worry about)
May I thank you for saving with or borrowing from the South Warwickshire Credit Union (‘SWCU’ or ‘the Union’). Regretfully the Union has stopped trading and a petition has been presented in the Warwick County Court for it to be placed into liquidation. I am Paul Brindley of Midlands Business Recovery, I am the insolvency practitioner who is expecting to be appointed as liquidator as soon as the court makes the winding up order – this should be in about a week or two’s time. In the meantime please…
If you have a savings account, don’t worry, your money is protected
You won’t be able to access funds held within your account with SWCU right now because of the forthcoming liquidation, but let me assure you that your money is safe. You will get all of your money back.
There will be a delay in you getting it back because of the process the court and various other organisations, me included, must go through. Your see, your money is protected by the UK government through its Financial Services Compensation Scheme (‘FSCS’). The FSCS is planning to pay you back within seven days of the court making the winding up order and a great deal of effort is being made right now to make that happen. The good news is that you do not need to do anything: I am sending the FSCS what they need to pay you, and the FSCS will send a payment directly to you.
If you are owed less than £1,000 you will receive a letter from the FSCS that you can cash at your local Post Office. If you are owed more than £1,000 you will receive a cheque from them. When you receive the letter or the cheque please pay it in as soon as you can.
Further information on how this works can be found on the FSCS website at www.fscs.org.uk.
I will write to you again with a copy of a statement showing the funds held in your account – please check this with what you believe you are owed and against the money that you later receive from the FSCS, and let me know if there’s a difference.
If you are having financial difficulties
You need to be aware that the benefits system has changed in recent days. If you need advice on benefits or debt, you could contact the local Citizen’s Advice Bureau on 0844 8552322. Alternatively you could use their drop in service – the main office is at 25 Meer Street, Stratford- upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6QB (Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm). Your other local offices are listed at http://stratforduponavoncab.org.uk/get-advice/. The national CAB website is at http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
Turntous is a charity that will help you with claiming benefits. You can contact them on 0808 802 2000 or on line http://www.turn2us.org.uk/
Another option is National Debtline, a charity that helps people with their debts. Their telephone number is 0808 808 4000 (open Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, and Saturday 9.30am to 1pm). Their website, which can be found at http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/ provides some great help and support.
In the longer term you could seek some support from the Money Advice Service, their telephone number is 0300 500 5000, their website is at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.
We have also listed at the end of this sheet some other contacts which may be of help you.
Steps for you to take now
The process for paying you has already started. But as you won’t be able to use the Credit Union’s account again, what you need to do is:
- 1. Think about opening up a new bank, Post Office, building society or Credit Union account, unless you already have one.
If your wages or benefits were paid into your account with SWCU, please give your employer or the DWP your new or alternative account number as soon as you can.
A list of useful numbers and some information on how to open a new bank account is contained at the end of this sheet. Your local Jobcentre Plus (which is part of the DWP) will be able to help you open a Post Office Card Account. They will also arrange for the transfer of benefit payments to your new Post Office or bank account.
One option could be for you to open an account with a neighbouring credit union – The New Central Credit Union cover Warwickshire and Coventry. To do so, call them on 02476 633456. Their website is: http://www.newcentralcu.co.uk/
- You must make alternative payment arrangements with everyone whom you would normally pay out on direct debit or standing order from your SWCU account.
Do this as soon as you can so you can avoid any late payment charges.
- 3. You should immediately cancel any standing orders or other payments you have set up to pay monies you’re saving into your credit union account.
You can do this telephoning your bank or visiting them in branch. Please be aware that neither I nor the Union can cancel standing orders: this is something that only you can do. If for any reason some ‘late’ savings are paid into the Union’s account after liquidation, which you aren’t repaid by the FSCS, I will pay them back to you but there will be a delay and you will need to write to me to claim the money back. It’s really best if you do stop saving with the Union right now.
Repaying your Loan
If you have taken out a loan from the Union, you are still under a legal obligation to repay it on the terms and conditions you originally agreed. As liquidator I am obliged by law to collect in your loan payments. Please continue to make your loan repayments in the normal way. If your standing order was previously set up for both loan repayments and savings, please adjust this with your bank – please just repay the loan. If you are unsure of the exact amount of your loan repayment, please contact my colleague Angela for details.
The Liquidator’s freephone helpline: 0800 231 5788 – between 9am and 3pm (Tuesday to Thursday). Alternatively email: email@example.com. My address is Midlands Business Recovery, Alpha House, Tipton Street, Sedgley, DY3 1HE.
Job Centre Plus National Helpline Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Telephone 0800 055 6688 Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Jobcentre Plus Benefit Helpline for Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Bereavement benefits – 0845 608 8597, Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm. For Maternity Allowance – 0845 608 8610. For industrial Injuries Benefit – 0845 758 5433. For pensions – 08456 060265. Loans from the Social Fund – 0800 032 7952.
Local Jobcentre Plus Office: Martin Raff House, Alcester Road, Stratford-upon-Avon – 0845 604 3719
Opening a New Bank Account
Most people use a current account with a bank or building society to manage their day-to-day money. It allows you to pay bills, receive payments such as salary, wages or benefits, and/or save money. Fees, charges and interest vary a lot between bank accounts so it is important to choose an account that suits the way you manage your money. All banks will ask for proof of your identity and address. However do not be put off if you do not have a passport or driving licence. There are lots of other identification banks can accept.
Once you’ve decided on the account you want to open, the bank or building society will ask you to fill in a simple application form. Someone at the bank should be able to help you with this if you need them to. It will be up to you to tell anyone who makes regular payments to you about your new account details. Some banks will help you with this, it is worth asking.
www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk has lots of useful information and advice on selecting the right bank account for you, dealing with debt, etc.
Post Office Card Accounts
A post office card account is useful for people who do not have a bank account. It is specifically for receiving pension and benefits. It cannot be used for direct debits, standing orders or third party payments. Once opened, payments from the government can be credited to the account and you can take your cash out at any post office. To open a Post Office card account, speak to Jobcentre Plus.
16 May 2013