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CEO Siobhan Barclay takes the Harp and Crown CU to the next level with Leading Governance Award

Harp and Crown Credit Union CEO, Siobhan Barclay recently completed a Leading Governance award (OCN Level 5) in Boardroom Leadership for the 21st Century. This comprised of two modules - Boardroom Leadership for Effective Governance and Leading Organisational Culture from the Boardroom.

Siobhan, a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, who trained in EY, Belfast, joined the Harp and Crown in 2020, amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

As the Chief Executive of Harp and Crown Credit Union, Siobhan has undertaken many challenges and implemented several changes to progress the organisation, which has around 10,000 members currently.

Speaking about the recent Leading Governance Award, Siobhan said:

“I felt it was important to undertake this learning as CEO, as no matter how good you believe the governance structures and practices are, they can always be improved. I learned so much on the course that can be put into practice at the Harp & Crown, such as the importance of organisational culture; Equality Diversity and Inclusion; as well as ESG (Environmental Social and Governance). These are Strategies which will have a direct impact on the sustainability and future direction of the credit union, its members, and its stakeholders.”

The Harp and Crown has progressed and grown significantly in the last financial year alone with key highlights recorded in the 2022 Annual Report as follows:

· A total of 1,823 loans were issued at £7.3M v 1,359 loans issued at £4.75 million for the 2021-year end

· An increased loan book by over £1 million

· The surplus was increased to over half a million pounds

· An increased dividend of 1% was recommended (0.75% in 2021)

The new financial year started very positively, with a record 50 new member accounts opened in October alone. Furthermore, 104 loans were issued at £494K (a 9% increase from October last year); and there was an increase of the total loan book, compared to a decrease from September 2021 to October 2021. November marks the Christmas Loan Promotion period which is already proving to be as successful as ever.

Commenting on future plans and hopes for the Harp and Crown Credit union, Siobhan said:

“We are looking forward to events in 2023, marking our 25th anniversary and promoting the history of the credit union. We hope to continue to grow our membership – potentially having our 10,000th active member; continuing to support our members through difficult financial times and helping them plan for major life events. We anticipate an improved online banking system, providing the easiest possible access to savings and loans; whilst welcoming members to our new office at Newforge.”

Harp and Crown Credit Union has been providing safe, ethical, and flexible financial services to the wider Police family in Northern Ireland, since 1998. You can follow the Harp and Crown on social media (@HarpandCrownCU) and via their website news section for regular updates. Members can also join the e-newsletter mailing list here.

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