About us

The bank for the social economy

Unity Trust Bank is a bank with a difference. We were set up in 1984 by a number of the country’s largest trade unions to create the UK’s first trade union-owned bank.

We are a specialist bank for organisations in the social economy providing specialist day-to-day banking and affordable competitive finance to charities, social enterprises, co-operatives, CICs, community groups, local councils, trades unions and more.

We promote a socially responsible and sustainable approach to banking and lending, and aim to create positive social change through our business activity.

In our founding principles the bank was established as “an organisation identified with and embracing the philosophy of the common good” and these principles are even more relevant today than they were in 1984. They direct us towards an approach which sees values and social impact form a key part of our offering, and have a strong resonance with our stakeholders, shareholders, customers and staff. This approach sets us apart from mainstream banks, and as a social business ourselves, we are part of the social economy just like our customers.

Here are some of the things that make us stand out as the Bank of choice:

  • We provide simple and transparent banking based on our customers’ needs. With a wealth of knowledge, we offer practical support with an open and honest approach.
  • We’ve been commended for our award-winning customer service – our customer support team is based in the UK and your enquiry will be handled directly by an operator – calls are usually answered within 10 seconds, and we resolve 90% of queries on the first contact.
  • As part of our dedication to our sector, we’ve committed to lend £100m over three years to the social economy and welcome enquiries from new and existing customers. We support organisations to improve the communities they live in by creating jobs, improving living conditions and retaining wealth. We lent £19m to customers in the social economy last year, read our impact report to see how our customers benefited from financial support.
  • We are proud to be the first bank to be awarded the Living Wage Employer Accreditation Mark – a move which demonstrates our commitment to paying our employees, consultants and contractors a living wage or more.
  • Our staff also hold a share of our future, as through our own Employee Ownership Scheme (ESOP) they all hold shares in the Bank, this is a significant step in reinforcing our commitment to employees and ensuring they play a greater role in developing and sharing the success of the Bank.
  • Our Unity in the Community initiative sees staff fundraising and volunteering in local communities, and we give them each five volunteer days a year to do this. In 2013 our staff raised £1,796 for various causes and gave 113.5 volunteering days to local charities. If you are a local Birmingham charity, email us at us@unity.co.uk  to see how we can help you. Click here to read more about our Unity in the Community initiative.
  • We are specialist bankers in the sector and we love to hear from our customers and do what we can to help you manage your finances. Following feedback from customers we have introduced a number of internet banking developments including more access levels and email reminders for payments awaiting authorisation, more information can be found here.

If you are an organisation in the social economy sector and would like to hear more about banking with Unity, please call us on 0345 155 3355 or email us@unity.co.uk.  

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