The Zimbabwe Diaspora Credit Union (ZDCU), a non-profit-making organisation owned by Zimbabweans based in the United Kingdom, is in the final stages of registration according to laws of that country, an official has said.
ZDCU managing director Dunny Derera said the initiative was meant to allow Zimbabweans in the UK to make savings, access loans and be able to send money for development at home.
“We have heard from the Financial Services Authority, which regulates banks and credit unions in UK that our application has passed most of their processing departments and is now with the Permissions Department that will make the final decision,” said Derera.
A credit union is a financial institution formed by an organised group of people with a common bond.
Members of the credit union pool their assets to provide loans and other financial services to each other and many credit unions exist to further community development or sustainable international development on a local level.
Derera said the ZDCU is an attempt by Zimbabweans in the UK to financially empower each other.
“By creating our own credit union which caters for all Zimbabweans who live and work in the UK, we will be able to reward sustainable behaviour by offering better interest rates for loans, mortgages, and supportive loan programmes for those who lack credit ratings,” he said.
Derera said for admission into the credit union one should be living in the UK but having an active and continuous association with Zimbabwe.
“Having an active and continuous association with Zimbabwe may mean holding or having held a Zimbabwe passport or birth certificate, or being a relative, in-law, or descendant of such a person,” he said.
Derera said the ZDCU was started in November 2007 as a study group by Zimbabweans and now has over 550 members.