The Owl Effect

Measuring the Social Impact
of Hoot Credit Union



The Owl Effect, Measuring the Social Impact of Hoot Credit Union  is about the impact credit union services have on the community and how being a member of Hoot impacts financial well-being.


Credit unions have provided services to the people of Bolton for thirty years and over 6,000 people now benefit from the safe savings, affordable credit and financial  education that Hoot Credit Union delivers to its members.


Hoot is motivated by the desire to provide approachable, affordable and accessible financial services that meet the needs of everyone who lives, works or studies in Bolton or Bury.


Hoot is proud of what it has achieved and wants to make sure that it can continue to grow and develop to meet the needs of the tens of thousands of people who would benefit from its services.


Hoot provides safe savings and affordable lending services to over 6,000 people.


41% of Hoot members in Bolton live in the bottom decile for Income Deprivation.


Hoot’s average member scores 25% lower on wellbeing scales than the average Bolton resident… after six years of membership their scores rise by 20%.


Established Hoot members are three times less likely to worry significantly about money.

72% of money lent by Hoot is spent in Bolton and Bury.


This leads to a multiplier effect which means that for every £1 Hoot lends, it is estimated that £1.93 is spent in Bolton and Bury, and £2.09 is spent in Greater Manchester. In 2018/19, this provided a £2 million boost to the local economy.


Borrowing from Hoot saved members from paying a potential £833,000 in interest in 2018/19 and £millions more could be saved in Bolton if more people could be steered away from high-cost lenders.

Based on values developed by housing ideas agency HACT, Hoot provides £9.5 million worth of social value each year.


Hoot helps over 400 employees to save and borrow, reducing financial stress and increasing productivity.


98% of Hoot members using payroll would recommend the method to a colleague or family member.



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