Political Parties Must Declare their Views on new Anti Credit Union Legislation says Harkin

The 2.89 million members of Credit Unions deserve to have the views of all of the political parties on new Credit Union regulations which the Government is proposing to impose.

This was stated by Independent MEP Marian Harkin when she called on the political parties to declare their positions on the new discriminatory regulations.

She said that the significant progress made by the Credit Union movement reflected in the annual review of the Irish League of Credit Unions, emphasised that the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan should not facilitate the implementation of further regulations which would impair their continued progress.

“The fact that 10,000 new members have joined credit unions in the first eight months of this year indicates clearly the increased demand for Credit Union services as the banks withdraw theirs”, Marian Harkin said.

She continued:-“This further progress being made by Credit Unions must not be impeded by further restrictions on their operations which will be implemented if the Minister for Finance signs a commencement order for sections of the 2012 Credit Union Act. These new regulations would place an unacceptable and unnecessary limit on individual savings and would place Credit Unions at a substantial disadvantage to the banks. There has been a preoccupation by the Central Bank with Credit Unions but the scare headlines forecasting huge problems for Credit Unions in which Minister Noonan have proven to be fundamentally flawed. The current strength of Credit Unions can be seen in the 4% increase of savings in Credit Unions to €11.07billion, and in the fact that they have over €5.5 billion in funds to lend to members. This strength can also be seen in the superior risk status of Credit Unions which under the Central Bank’s Probability Risk and Impact System they are in the low to medium category compared to the banks which are in the high risk category.

“The Credit Union movement deserves the full support of the Minister for Finance and in recognition of their remarkably stable progress he should ensure that no action of his will impair the further progress they are obviously capable of making”, Independent MEP Marian Harkin concluded.


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