.Representation

Delivering for our Student Groups with a Bank of SUSU (1314P16)

Status: Lapsed | Zone: Democracy

Passed: 14/05/2014 | Lapsed: 14/05/2014

This policy was discussed at the following meetings:

  •  SUSU recognises 295 student groups as of 7th March (1),  one of the highest numbers of groups of any students’ union nationally (2).
  •  A large proportion of our student groups operate a current account with a retail bank.
  •  Student groups’ widespread dissatisfaction with the customer service standards of retail banks.
  •  The leasing of cash recycling equipment by the Union, approved by Finance Sub-Committee on 17th December 2012 and by Union Council on 4th February 2013(3).
  •  The confirmation at SUSU Trustee Board on 25th February 2014 that one student group, unable to open a UK bank account for legal reasons, ‘would be able to obtain funds from the cash recycling equipment’.
  •  The students' unions at Leeds (4)  and Sheffield (5)  offer current accounts to all student groups.
  •  We should take every opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to, and the extent to which we value, the student groups which make our Union distinctive.
  •  One such opportunity is to offer current accounts to all student groups by establishing a ‘Bank of SUSU’.
  •  A Bank of SUSU is a perfect opportunity to develop a service which competes with those of the very best students’ unions.
  •  Our cash recycling equipment is sufficient physical infrastructure for a Bank of SUSU, as evidenced by one student group’s current usage; its organisational infrastructure will take time to develop.
  •  A Bank of SUSU should be a service of the highest possible quality, and a compelling alternative to retail banks.
  •  To establish a Bank of SUSU which offers current accounts to all student groups.
  •  A Bank of SUSU should be a service of the highest possible quality: enabling groups to deposit, withdraw, and transfer funds (including by Direct Debit and Standing Order); offering 24/7 online access, and physical access for as many hours as is reasonably practicable; and launching in phases to ensure its organisational infrastructure is fully developed.
  •  A Bank of SUSU should be a compelling alternative to retail banks: developed in partnership with student groups; with the principle of excellent customer service at its heart; and incorporating robust safeguards against operational, legal, and other risks to SUSU.
  •  To phase the launch of a Bank of SUSU on a Zone-by-Zone basis across the academic years 2014/15, 2015/16, and 2016/17, or sooner at the discretion of SUSU Trustee Board.
  •  The VP Democracy and Creative Industries and Union President to create a business plan for a Bank of SUSU in line with Resolves 1 – 4, and to present this to SUSU Trustee Board in the academic year 2014/15.
  • [1] Democracy Zone Committee report: Updates on student groups affiliations and funding. This total is likely to increase further at the Student Groups Committee on 9th May.
  • [2] This topic is the subject of much friendly rivalry within the students’ union movement, and whilst a comprehensive set of figures is difficult to determine, as of 1st May:
  • Sheffield has 366 groups (); Nottingham has 317 groups (); Leeds has 293 groups (); Exeter has 253 groups (); Cardiff has 235 groups (); Newcastle has 234 groups (); Reading has 162 groups ( ); Hull has 149 groups (); Bath has 146 groups (); Loughborough has 140 groups (). SUSU therefore seems to compare very favourably against the national picture.
  • [3] Union Council proposal: Implementing an Automated cash counting system
  • [4]http://www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/admin/clubsandsocieties/finance/
  • [5]http://www.shef.ac.uk/union/get-involved/societies/zone-online/money.php