London Credit Union under Scrutiny for Lending Client Money to Local Church

The Pentecostal Credit Union has been shamed after putting its clients money at risk. The credit union had been secretly directing funds to a local church organization.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has publicly declared the credit union’s behavior as disgraceful. Based in southwest London, in Balham, the Pentecostal Credit Union has channeled at least £1.2 million. The disgrace arises as the union issued these loans in the names of their clients; the money was actually being loaned to the Pentecostal church organization. The FSA’s director of enforcement and financial crime is shocked that a credit union would put the needs of their own members behind a different organization.

This is the second incident in just a few days involving credit unions. Only days earlier, the North Yorkshire Credit Union collapsed. This union is now the sixth union to collapse this year.

The Pentecostal Credit Union has been lending money to the church organization for a while now. The FSA warned the credit union to stop loaning money to the church organization in 2002. Despite this warning, between 2007 and 2011 the credit union issued 20 loans in the names of 15 different clients. The director of the union guilty of this, Reverend Carmel Jones, had signed and approved 14 of the loans and had even signed a majority of the checks. Jones escaped without even having to pay a fine, as it was identified that financial penalties would impact all members of the credit union. If these financial circumstances were not in play, Jones would have been facing a fine of £60,000. Despite escaping this however, Jones is now banned from working within the industry.

While the organization was initially making repayments, the repayments came to a halt in 2009. The result is that the organization owes at least £670,000.

The Pentecostal Credit Union has cooperated well with the FSA, agreeing to replace its entire management… and we all know what happens when financial institutions agree something with the FSA, don’t we??

Continue Reading

The Lowdown on Christmas Spending… According to HSBC

I love the festive period… parties, presents, food and time with the the family… whats not to like?? This year was special, as it’s the first time that we’ve hosted everyone for Christmas dinner, and I’m glad to report that it was a resounding success. We had a 6kg bird that was cooked to perfection, and i even got my 6yr old to eat all of his sprouts… happy days!!

In our house now, Christmas is all about the kids and making sure they enjoy it… but I’m finding that, it’s getting more expensive year-on-year. Not just within our own household, where the kids are at the age where they’re writing to Santa and asking for specific gifts, Skylanders Giants for the XBox 360 this year, but we look at our family and friends and all of our families are growing.

According to HSBC, the average spend per Household of Christmas is £526. I have to confess though on this occasion, that i have no idea how much we spent as i left it with the missus to take care of everything.


Continue Reading

Gotta Learn To Switch Off!!

It’s the Sunday before Christmas, and I’m still working… not good… mental note to self…


Sooo… i’m creating a ‘Funny Money’ section for a little bit of light relief – inspired by my friend Dave who sent me this…

I’m sure Barack Obama will probably have his face on a bank note at some point in the future… being the first black President in US history… but i doubt it will look anything like the mock-up above!!

Gonna see if i can find some more funny money pictures…

Continue Reading

Unnecessary Spending That Can Cost You Dearly

There are times when it’s good to be spontaneous, but playing it loose with your finances can be dangerous. Here are three spending habits you need to stop today.

Not Taking Credit Debt Seriously

Credit cards can come in handy, especially when it comes to financial emergencies. However, most people use them on a regular basis, for only small purchases and these can add up fast.

It’s also dangerous to pay off only the minimum payments each month. With only minimum repayments, the debt will never go down. Keep that plastic reserved for emergencies and try paying off a little more each month.

Having No Budget

A budget should be the first step when it comes to managing your finances. Without a budget, it’s hard to tell if your spending is on track. There are probably lots of ways you could save money that you would never even notice without a budget. When you create a budget, you can allot money to the things that you need. Try to put aside some of your monthly income for an emergency fund as well. Any surprises won’t be such a worry if you have the financial means to deal with them.

Not Shopping Around for the Best Deals

Whether it’s a banking institution, a credit card, or just regular purchases, many people just don’t want to spend the time to look for the best deal. When it comes to banks, an account that you’ve had for the past ten years might not be the right account for you now. Life changes; you need to change accordingly. When it comes to credit, you should always look for lower interest rates.

When it comes to finances, it’s important to plan ahead and devote some time to saving. If you can confront your debt, create a budget, and shop around a little bit, you’ll turn that spending into savings in no time.

Continue Reading