The project explored how community credit unions might initiate payroll deduction agreements. The project drew on widespread interest in expanding credit unions’ use of payroll deduction agreements, using material developed by a variety of external partners, including the CIPP, Cornerstone Mutual Services, the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council.The previously funded SUII project, Financing the future: achieving sustainable growth in credit unions, reinvigorated the dialogue between academics, professional bodies and credit unions, and contributed to the development of the Scottish Credit Union Charter (launched in October, 2015 by the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL).  This follow up project  sought to increase the reach and maximise the impact of the ongoing knowledge exchange amongst academics, professional bodies, credit unions and policy makers and involved:

  • academic inputs from Heriot-Watt University, 
  • professional services inputs from the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals; 
  • and the practitioner knowledge of two community credit unions based in Glasgow (Drumchapel Credit Union and Greater Govan Credit Union).

Knowledge exchange activities were designed to identify the challenges facing community credit unions who wish take advantage of the current policy environment, captured in the Scottish Government’s report, Scotland’s Credit Unions: Investing in our Future. As part of the academic input, we designed knowledge exchange activities to support community credit unions in approaching local employers. These knowledge exchange activities covered:

  • the mechanics of payroll deduction, 
  • business-to-business relationship building; 
  • and service design challenges.

As a result of this project there have been several evidence-based insights gained in terms of employer readiness to engage, existing member advocacy, augmenting organisational resources, establishing flagship relationships and positioning payroll deduction as a transformational development.


  • The Scottish Government publicises its inclusion of payroll deduction as an element of the Scottish Business Pledge
  • The Scottish Government and local authorities work together to develop a payroll deduction standard for community credit unions
  • The Scottish Government and local authorities and their associated agencies should enable approved credit unions to form flagship relationships with public service organisations
  • Glasgow City Council should work with approved credit unions to establish a co-operative payroll deduction development unit
  • All agencies working with credit unions should review their support for payroll deduction development, recognising the potential advantages of community credit unions mobilising their members as payroll deduction advocates
  • Materials promoting payroll deduction should explicitly recognise the context in which community credit unions operate, and guide credit unions and employers through the whole of the relationship formation process