The Illawarra County Council Staff Credit Union commenced in 1964. Initially the Credit Union was only open to employees of the Council. But this changed in September 1971 when family members were also allowed to join.

An early director Neville Daniel (picture below) talked about start of the Illawarra County Council Staff Credit Union in an oral history interview with Richard Raxworthy on 26 July 1990 (held by AMH). Neville remembered Stan Arneil, who had a role in helping the formation of credit unions in NSW, addressing an early morning meeting at 7am in the car park on a chilly July morning in 1964.

Also in the interview Neville said “I can remember the inaugural meeting … We got our Charter from the Registrar in December 1964 and we opened for business on 1 January, or straight after the New Year break, in 1965. We just did it with voluntary work.”

The credit union expanded in the 1980s and 1990s through accepting a series of engagements from other credit unions – including Bega Valley Credit Union Limited (1980); Candelo Community Credit Union Limited (1982); Wollongong City Council Employees Credit Union Limited (1982); Illawarra District Hospitals and Ambulance Employees Credit Union Limited (1983); and Shoalhaven City Employees Credit Union Limited (1995). This expanded the membership numbers and coverage of the credit union.

To reflect this growth the credit union changed its name in December 1982 to Southern Counties Credit Union Limited. Then again in 1995 the name of the credit union was changed to Horizon Credit Union Limited.

Following this period of growth, Horizon Credit Union opened a new Administration and Services Centre in Wollongong. The February 1997 edition of Directions (the Australian Credit Unions Magazine) had an article on the opening and quotes the General Manager, Simon Whiteman, as saying “we wanted to build … a centre that was functional, cost effective and … a place where members feel comfortable doing business”.

In 2009 the credit union accepted engagements of Eurobodalla Credit Union Limited. In 2012, the long serving Director Peter McLeod left after an impressive 45 years of service (1967-2012). Another long serving director was Irene Bonella (1988- 2014), who continues to be involved in the mutuals sector through her role as a trustee of the Australia Credit Union Archives Trust. 

2019 was a significant year as Horizon Credit Union made Money magazine’s “Best of the Best” list for the year. It was Horizon’s Visa credit card, a low interest rate and no annual fee card, which came in at first place for best transactor credit card in the non-bank category.

2019 was also an important year as the credit union began trading as Horizon Bank, marking the start of another era for the organisation.