Chris Smith


“I want to help get people thinking and talking about money, often for the first time in their lives. I believe that by doing so we can actually improve a person’s financial capability for the long term, rather than simply helping them with the immediate need”

Credit unions mean more than that first loan; savings and loans together are a life changer for many.

I’d been involved in the launch and running of several local credit unions for quite some time, around Tameside and east Manchester in the 1980s.  I went on to lead a team that launched three credit unions – including The Co-operative Credit Union – in 1998 and served on the board of ABCUL. I was the first Chair of The Co-op Credit Union steering group in 1997 and then the first Chair of The Co-op Credit Union proper in 1998.

I’ve worked for both The Co-operative Bank and Group for over 30 years, was the Former Head of Social Goals at the Co-op Group and have spent the last 10 years as an adviser, trainer and consultant to UK credit unions.

Specialisms: Community leadership, credit union strategy and project management.