Government must support credit unions who play a central role in our community

Fine Gael Party Chairperson and TD for Limerick, Dan Neville has said that some level of regulation is needed to support credit unions but that this regulation should not interfere with their voluntary ethos.

Speaking in Dáil Éireann, Deputy Neville, highlighted the important role that credit unions play in our communities, but outlined the need for proper regulation to protect savers’ money.

“Credit unions play an important role in ensuring that people who are not attracted by the banks or people who otherwise would not obtain credit, have the opportunity,

“As a longstanding member of the Cois Sionna credit union in Limerick, I know how well the credit unions work and serve our communities. We have seen the growth of the credit union movement since the 1950s and its contribution to society.

“It is essential that credit union savers’ money is safe and secure. For that reason, there must be some level of regulation. However, I believe strongly that this regulation cannot interfere with the voluntary ethos of the credit union movement.

“Many credit unions have become large with significant financial assets. There has to be a level of regulation for that.

“The Government recognises the importance of the credit union movement and has set aside €500 million to support credit unions in difficulties. Up to €250 million was made available to the Credit Union Restructuring Board but only €20 million has so far been spent.

“It is time now to look at how we can use the remainder of this money to develop the credit union movement. This is an important opportunity to plan ahead for our credit unions and to protect savers in the long term.”