PCU Financial Wellbeing - Strategy

The Pentecostal Credit Union Financial Wellbeing Strategy

What is financial wellbeing

Financial wellbeing is about feeling financially secure and in control. It is knowing that you can pay the bills today, can deal with the unexpected, and are on track for a healthy financial future. It enables peace of mind and emotional wellbeing - never having to worry about money or how bills will be paid. In short: financially confident, empowered and composed.

Financial wellbeing is good for individuals, communities, business and the economy. But, poor financial wellbeing affects tens of millions of people in the UK.

Financial wellbeing is good for communities. Financial stress - and its knock-on effects for mental health, relationship breakdown and physical health - creates costs for hospitals and others to repair broken lives.

Employers also benefit from financial wellbeing. People who enjoy good financial wellbeing are more productive at work. If they are not, employers suffer too.

Businesses also benefit. If people don’t fall behind with bills and payments, businesses have healthier profits and cashflow, and don’t need to write off debts.

The wider economy also benefits from the future focus of people who enjoy financial wellbeing. When people are able to set aside money towards their future, if it is saved in a cash account it can be lent to businesses, and if it is invested, it boosts the productive parts of the economy

Why do we need a financial wellbeing strategy at PCU

The recent series of UK (and international) financial crises has bought home the importance of all institutions like our own (banks, building societies, community banks and credit unions) in providing help and guidance to our members to assist them to navigate the stress and uncertainty created by the current world economic trauma.

It has never been more important to ensure that our communities and members are strengthened to cope with the financial challenges facing all of us. It is in our interest to ensure that our members are assisted to build the financial resilience necessary to cope.

At PCU we have always taken great care to protect the interests of our members and to ensure that the needs of our members are at the heart of everything that we do. So we are pleased to report that in July 2023, a new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Consumer Duty comes into force. The new duty sets higher and clearer standards of consumer protection across financial services and requires firms such as ours to put their customers’ needs first.

This financial wellbeing strategy - along with the customer survey that accompanies it - will help us to excel in delivering this new duty.

Agendas for Change

There are five key pillars of our financial well being strategy

Foundations: Aimed at children, young people and their parents. Our Junior Savers will get a meaningful financial education, so that they become adults able to make the most of their money and pensions.

A Community of savers: For all members, but aimed especially at working-aged members and particularly those struggling financially. Our members will adopt a savings habit, build cash reserves to help with short-term emergencies and have a clearer future focus in their financial lives.

Credit counts: Aimed at members who over-use credit, especially to pay for food and bills. Members will make informed choices about borrowing and understand the impact of misuse of credit on their finances.

Faster access to debt advice: Aimed at members who need debt advice. Members will access and receive high-quality debt advice when they need it, and because of stronger and earlier engagement.

Future focus: Aimed at all members, with a focus on the existing wellbeing of older members. Members will understand enough to plan for, and in, later life.