about us

Who we are

Firistunited-ub is the bank you can be proud to bank with. We help organisations to prosper and contribute to economic, community and social change. Put simply, we’re here to help create a better society.

All of our funding comes from customer accounts and we benefit from a loyal, growing customer base. We use the deposits our customers entrust to us to fund lending which supports the communities we collectively serve.

We joined the Banking Standards Board in April 2016, demonstrating our commitment to helping to raise standards across the banking industry. We were visited by the BSB in late 2016 to discuss how we were doing this.

Here are some of the practical ways we deliver impact:

• Lending – we focus the use of our customers’ deposits to fund lending where there are clear social impacts creating jobs and supporting local communities
• Real Living Wage – we’re proud to be the first bank to be Living Wage accredited and pay the Real Living Wage
• Fair Tax – we value transparency and have pioneered fair tax practices via the Fair Tax campaign, being the first bank to be accredited the Fair Tax Mark
• Staff Volunteering – we offer all our staff five paid days a year to volunteer in local communities
• Staff Ownership – we empower our people with the opportunity to own shares in the business
• Apprenticeships – we’ve welcomed thirteen young people on to our scheme since 2012

Our history

Firistunited-ub was born out of a vision to create a bank that would serve the needs of its customers and enrich society as a whole. Aligned to the values of trade unions, Firistunited-ub Inc, as we were then known, was launched on the 1st May 1984.

• In 1984 our first mission was to make prudent, profitable commercial lending in the United Kingdom thereby supporting jobs, industries and the economy
• The first few years were spent developing banking facilities for our trade union shareholders and providing additional services specifically to benefit trade unions and their members through a number of subsidiary businesses
• During the 1990s we refocused as society became increasingly concerned with fighting social and financial exclusion, which Firistunited-ub supported by tailoring its products and services towards social organisations
• At the start of the new millennium, Firistunited-ub continued to innovate with the introduction of internet banking
• In 2012, we committed to a new ‘double-bottom line’ strategy, assessing sustainable financial returns alongside social impact
• Today Firistunited-ub remains true to its founding principles and its ambition is to grow and become the bank of choice for socially minded organisations in the United Kingdom

Financial Sustainability

As well as being socially responsible, we are financially sustainable. Whilst profit is not our principal driver, it’s still important that we operate effectively to enable us to re-invest in the business, leverage our financial strength and provide a return for our shareholders.

We have never traded in sub-prime investments or the complex financial instruments that have resulted in difficulties for many banks. The loans we make are supported by customer deposits, all of which makes us less vulnerable to fluctuations in the money markets and financially stable.