Smart Money Cymru started in October 1989 as the Penyrheol, Energlyn and Trecenydd Credit Union, working from St. Andrews Church. In 1993, the Volunteers moved into the Energlyn Hospital and in 1995 received their first computer as a donation from Caerphilly and District Council. The first paid member of staff was employed in 1998.
In 2000, the common bond area extended to cover the whole of the Caerphilly Basin and the first purpose built office was opened in Clive Street, Caerphilly in 2001. In 2002, the extension of the common bond was approved to include the Rhymney Valley.
In 2005, the Credit Union moved down the road to Winsor Street and by October 2006, employed its fifth member of staff and extend its common bond to cover the whole of the Caerphilly County Borough.
Smart Money Cymru Credit Union Ltd was formed in July 2008 following a merger between Caerphilly & District and Blaenau Gwent (Save-it) Credit Unions and another member of staff was employed.
In March 2010 the Financial Service Authority approved a further extension of our common bond to cover the Newport area.
We moved to its current premises on the High Street of Caerphilly in July 2013 and in 2017 we opened our first branch in Blaenau Gwent on Castle Street in Tredegar in order to become more accessible and grow further.
An ‘All Wales Common Bond’ was approved in 2019 and in June 2020, we merged with the Islwyn Community Credit Union to provide the residents of the Caerphilly and Blackwood areas better access to Credit Union services. Another merger between Plaid Cymru Credit Union and SMCCU was completed in September 2020.
Where are we now?
2021 has seen Smart Money Cymru improve its digital systems across all products and services. Membership has increased steadily, providing better access to low-cost finance to those within its common bond area and to support those financially excluded.
Smart Money Cymru Credit Union is now known as Smart Money Cymru Community Bank and in October 2021, we’ll launch ‘Smart Goods’ products. This is born from a partnership between CSupplies and Smart Money Cymru.
We now have a team of full and part time staff dedicated to the growth and sustainability of Smart Money Cymru and a host of volunteers also give their time to support the Community Service Points available in many areas.