Latest News From Prince Bishops Community Bank

December 17

December 2017

The Directors of Prince Bishops Community bank and NE First Credit Union are having discussions that they hope will lead to the two organisations merging.

The Directors of both organisations believe that a merger will ensure sustainability and improve services for our members and will be a major step forward for the credit union movement in the North East

May 17


May 2017

County Durham advice & Prince Bishops Community Bank

A record turnout at the networking event with . Brilliant to see so many people working in partnership

Jan 17

Coming 2017
Community Bank
In partnership with the Weardale Area Action Partnership and Prince Bishops Community Bank
Stanhope Community Centre will be offering the Community Bank every Tuesday between 10.00-12.00. Weardale people will be able to find information at the Centre, join a regular savings account and apply for personal loans. We will have an open day Tuesday January 10th 2017


Jan 17

 Rob at Supportive Ferryhill speaking to staff about payroll savings

say-goodbye-to-the-pay-day-lenders extract from Supportive news letter

Let us introduce you to Rob Thompson, he works for the Prince Bishops
Community Bank in Stanley and Bishop Auckland. His background is in finance, he worked 10 years for the prudential interacting with
customers door to door and a further 16 years with the Halifax where he was a manager and advisor.

He now works with Prince Bishops community bank supporting the community and workplaces to stop local people from going to pay day lenders and use the community banking as a managed alternative as it’s fully secure and your money is guaranteed.
Rob recently came into our Supportive head office and gave informal chats to the staff. Using his experience and informal approach, he has secured loans for some individuals as well as setting up direct saving from their pay.
This approach is working really well! He is helping our office staff so much that we are now opening up the opportunity to our care workers, voluntary drivers and patient transport drivers so that they can benefit through saving or requesting a loan in a controlled manner and it’s totally confidential.


From a personal perspective, Rob totally enjoys his job, meeting with various types of people in all walks of life, whilst at the same time giving something back into the community by steering people away from the payday lenders.
Rob regularly comes into our Supportive Headquarters and is willing to come and meet new people who are interested in the scheme! There is an office at Bishop Auckland where Stewart is situated. Rob is based at Stanley with The Chief Executive Lesley Richardson and Vanessa and Catherine who provide support in the office.

Supportive fully backs community banking, and are happy for more staff and volunteers to use the scheme.


Dec 2016 

Our store in Bishop Auckland has had a successful year, helping members of the community save for the future and providing loans for those that need them.



July 2016 

Two learners from the Stanley Smart Money Course have joined Prince Bishops Community Bank as they put their learning into action. With contributions to courses from Paul Atkinson (Community Development Coordinator - PBCB), learners David and Jason from Stanley graduated the course run by Derwentside Homes with flying colours and now feel more in control of their financial futures.
David said "the course has given me more confidence in dealing with money and I would encourage people if they are worried about their finances to do one of these courses - it can make a big difference." The Smart Money Course is supported by Monkey, a Big Lottery funded partnership of housing and voluntary sector organisations working with people in County Durham. Partners include Social Landlords, Advice and Support Agencies and Credit Unions.


July 2016


On Thursday 28th July, the New Prince Bishops Bank Shop in Bishop Auckland hosted an open day, available to all residents looking to save with a safe credit union as opposed to using illegal money lenders. Residents attending the open day were offered an incentive, all of which is funded using proceeds of crime money taken from convicted loan sharks. The first 50 new members who open a new Credit Union Savings Account and save for 10 weeks consecutively will be credited £25 from the team. The open day ran from 10:30am until 3pm at 22 Finkle Street, Bishop, Auckland, DL147PL with Sid the Shark the Illegal Money Lending Team Mascot making an appearance. READ MORE...


July 2016


A video campaign to promote the use of Credit Union's in County Durham is well underway with the help of Durham County Council and Prince Bishops Community Bank. The second in the series of six short video commercials went live this week and so far the campaign has had over 2000 views and reached almost 10,000 potential customers/members. Prince Bishops Community Bank said "people really are starting to understand what it is we do, and we hope that by the end of the year, there will be no doubt in peoples minds why the Credit Union exists, and how it benefits the community"


June 2016


This week, we welcome St Cuthberts RC Primary in Crook to the School Savings Project. With a fantastic response and big sign up from the staff, parents and children, St Cuthberts are not only enabling the children to save regularly, they are also making the weekly collection and educational exercise for some of the senior children.


May 2016


This week, Durham County Council in an effort to raise awareness for the Credit Unions, began filming a series of short commercials with production company Pillarbox Media, aimed at expanding the profile of Prince Bishops Community Bank in County Durham. The project will aim to connect with people through social media in an effort to tackle financial exclusion and high cost credit.
Actor and presenter Daymon Britton will been seen delivering important messages about the dangers of high cost credit, ethical savings and a better alternative.


May 2016

A very successful conference for Tynedale Community Bank .
Read about it...
Hexham Courant Article
Guy Opperman

Lauren Langton (Tynedale Community Bank Founder) on Radio Newcastle
Listen (item begins at 01:08)


April 2016

Friday 29th April seen our very first Tynedale Community Bank Conference at the Beaumont Hotel in Hexham. With guest speakers Guy Opperman (Conservative MP) , Alistair Jenkins (Tynedale & Prince Bishops Community Bank Chairman), Lauren Langton (Founder/Director of Tynedale Community Bank and Benjamin Carter (Revd for Haydon Bridge), a full house enjoyed a welcome coffee and an informative morning as the speakers detailed the aims and ambitions of the


March 2016

Today (22/03/16) we opened a brand new School Community Bank in Lanchester EP Primary School in County Durham. Staff have worked very hard to make the opening day a great success. Benjamin was first through the door to pay in his money followed a long queue of young savers who raised money doing jobs around the house and checking down the sofa. The school staff are committed to the project, using the payroll deduction system to save directly from their


Febuary 2016

We have opened a brand new School Community Bank in Benedict Biscop School in Sunderland. Staff and pupils worked very hard on the opening day to join over 120 new members from both staff and children. The school are committed to using the Community Bank as a regular educational exercise, aimed at encouraging children to get into the savings habit. But beyond members within the school, they are also committed to spreading the word to the wider community about fair credit offered by Prince Bishops Community


January 2016

Lloyds Banking Group understands the value of credit unions and the service they perform, not only for consumers but also for the British economy – it is not a sustainable solution to load the poorest with debt. Over the four year period, from 2014 until 2017, Lloyds Banking Group’s £4m investment to credit unions should enable the sector to lend an additional £20m to their customers. That’s an extra £20m that can support the poorest people in the country and give them the chance to prosper. CEO Lesley Richardson said "we are delighted to receive this funding, this is a real boost for the Credit Unions, and for the people of County Durham"Read The Guardian article


December 2015

Our CEO Lesley Richardson and Payroll Coordinator Rob Thompson, were invited to speak on Radio Teesdale this week with presenter John Atkinson to talk to their listeners about the Credit Union; helping to give them a clear understanding of what the Community Bank is and how it differs from high street bnaks. Lesley also explained that the Community Bank is open to the whole community of Durham and Tynedale. Rob explained why it is important for employers to get involved with the Community Bank by offering their staff an internal savings scheme, supported by PBCB, and is happy to speak to local employers about this.


December 2015

Rob Thompson, our Payroll Development Coordinator has been elected to support the board on Advice in County Durham. Prince Bishops Community Bank has links with all of their services and Rob feels being involved at board level gives the Community Bank even more local community contact where it matters most.
Advice in County Durham is a new initiative making it easier for you to access the right advice and support. Whether you are an individual looking for help and advice or an organisation looking to signpost a client to get the right help, we can help.


December 2015

Here at Prince Bishops Community Bank, we are in the process of producing an informative film about the positive impact of the PB Credit Union on local communities in Co Durham and Northumberland. The film's contributors talk about the need for diversity in financial services and the role that businesses and schools can play to help grow the credit union movement in the North East of England.
The film is being kindly produced and directed by a local award winning media company for PBCB, and should be ready for distribution early in the new year.


November 2015

Lauren Langton, Founder Member and Co-ordinator of the recently launched Tynedale Community Bank (TCB), believes the banking sector has lost our trust and its social licence. Following the financial crisis, British bankers got a few wrist slaps and a couple of knighthoods stripped. True, fines have been imposed on the biggest banks for transgressions such as market manipulation, money-laundering and mis-selling mortgages but these costs fall on shareholders and, with lending hampered, on the wider article

November 2015

This weekend Lesley Richardson representing Prince Bishops Community Bank was presented with an award by Mrs Aloun Ndombet-Assamba High Commissioner for Jamaica at the Edward Filine Credit Union Awards in London. In total, Prince Bishops Community Bank came away with three awards including surprise award for best film.

More about the awards...


A North East community bank has put the region on the map after winning three awards at a prestigious national event in London, described as the UK credit union 'Oscars'. 
Prince Bishops Community Bank was recognised for its work supporting local communities at the Edward Filene Credit Union Awards for Performance Excellence.

Organised by the International Credit Union Leadership Development & Education Foundation, the awards aim to recognise the inspiring work carried out by credit unions on behalf of their members and the wider communities they serve.

Prince Bishops Community Bank, which has branches in Stanley, Bishop Auckland and Hexham was named winner of the Fundraising for Good Causes category for its work supporting local charities and community projects. In recent years it has sponsored local sports clubs, provided free energy saving advice and information and supported local schools to run their own credit union branches. In addition it was a joint winner in the Film Production category for its short film detailing the work it does and was named runner-up in the Financial Education category in recognition of its efforts to improve financial literacy and encourage ethical saving.
Lesley Richardson, chief executive of Prince Bishops Community Bank, collected the awards and said: "This is a fantastic achievement; this event celebrates the very best work of credit unions from across the country so to be included in a huge honour.

"It was wonderful to hear so many inspiring stories about the work being carried out by other credit unions and we have come away with lots of ideas which we hope to implement in future to offer our members even more."

Prince Bishops Community Bank was set up in 2009 with the support of local housing association Derwentside Homes and is a not-for-profit organisation, owned and run by its members, with the money saved used to benefit local people in the form of easily accessible and affordable low cost loans. This also benefits the local community by offering an alternative to loan sharks or other doorstep leaders and helping people avoid falling into debt.

After initially operating across County Durham, Prince Bishops Community Bank has recently extended into Tynedale, helping to set up the Tynedale Community Bank which has a branch at Hexham Abbey Parish Centre. And with the launch of a new website too, the credit union is hoping to attract new members from across the North East.

Lesley Richardson said: "After the banking crisis I think a lot of people became disillusioned with the big banks - a credit union is different because it is run by the community for the community, with any profit going straight back into the local area to support members.

"We are going through a really exciting time right now, with the new credit union opening in Tynedale and more and more branches being set up in local schools, we're feeling very optimistic about the future."

The Edward Filene Credit Union Awards for Performance Excellence were presented by the Jamaican High Commissioner in London, Her Excellency Mrs Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, who was the General Manager of City of Kingston Co-operative Credit Union in Jamaica. During her time there membership increased from 35,000 to 140,000 in two years and during the awards she challenged UK credit unions to achieve the same ratio of owner-membership per population as in Jamaica - a third. This would see membership in the UK increase from the current 2 million to 20 million.

November 2015

The Archbishop of York John Sentamu addressed supporters at Hexham Abbey this morning at the launch of Tynedale Community Bank. The launch was also covered by BBC and ITV News and the local press. Tynedale will offer the same services as established partner Prince Bishops Community Bank in Stanley and Bishop Auckland, providing affordable loans and savings schemes and a genuine alternative to Payday Lenders and Loan Sharks.

November 2015

Savers and borrowers have been urged to use a new local bank opening on Friday - and to avoid global giants based in London, Frankfurt or Shanghai. The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, is to visit Northumberland for the official opening of Tynedale Community Bank on November 6. It’s backed by local churches, business leaders and Conservative and Labour MPs. And the aim is to ensure people who need access to cash aren’t forced to rely on payday lenders or loan sharks.The bank will also give savers a safe place to store their money, with all profits going back into the local more

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