Directors’ report

Sonja Orderley, Chair

The Directors’ have pleasure in presenting the Annual Report and Accounts of Ormeau Credit Union for the year ended 30th September 2021.

Last year was an extraordinary year. It was a year in which the Covid-19 pandemic enveloped all our lives, introducing new terms – furlough, social distancing, lockdown, quarantine, flattening the curve and the R-number, to name but a few. In the meantime, uncertainty remains around the impacts of Brexit and how this will unfold locally. With this as a backdrop the Credit Union was hard-pressed to continue to serve you, our Members, in the manner that you have come to expect. Throughout the pandemic our focus has been first and foremost on the safety and wellbeing of our Members and colleagues, particularly on those who are vulnerable. Secondly, it has been on maintaining the business and on navigating our way through the restrictions and their impact on us and the community. One thing we recognise is the resilience of our Members and colleagues and how capable they are to embracing and adapting to change. This positive response has been replicated across Northern Ireland and gives us confidence that we will emerge stronger and more competitive, but with a renewed focus on the importance of the community, our health, and quality of life. Like all businesses and families, all our people have been directly or indirectly impacted by coronavirus. To protect our Members and our colleagues we have had to work around certain aspects of our business and, on occasion, had to close the business for a few days to deal effectively with Covid related issues. We would like to thank the Members who have been affected for their patience and understanding.

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It has nevertheless been rewarding to witness the confident adoption of new working practices designed to provide a Covid-secure environment for our staff and for those Members who have relied on them to provide an essential service. This has included working behind protective screens at branch counters, limiting the numbers in the office at any one-time, social distancing, hand sanitisation stations, and telephone loan interviews.

The Credit Union’s response clearly demonstrates the benefits of continuity planning and business resilience that were already in place before the coronavirus emerged. We were able to help struggling Members through the roll-out of payment holidays and other deferral mechanisms and these proved a life-line for the many hundreds of Members who availed of them. We spoke with each borrower requesting a holiday or deferral to fully understand their circumstances and were able to explain the support available. It is further testament to the resilience of this process and the unwavering commitment and compassion of our staff, that most borrowers who availed of these schemes have now successfully returned to making full payments again.

Support has also been extended to savers, and, particularly to those with vulnerabilities, for whom we have made several changes to our processes to make it easier for them to access their money.

Address

252-256 Ormeau Road
Belfast BT7 2FZ

Call Us

028 9064 3951

Email Us

info@ormeaucreditunion.com