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Credit unions will use a proportion of €9bn in lending capacity to reduce SME lending costs

“Rapid growth in Credit Union lending expected to continue as Solution Centre rolls out enhanced Credit Union Business Model”

Responding to today’s launch of the Joint Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation’s Report entitled “ The Cost of doing Business ” and last week’s decision by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Finance, not to support the establishment of a new local public banking system, CUDA (Credit Union Development Association), the representative and lobby group for Ireland’s largest credit unions, said that its 48 strong network of the more progressive credit unions can fill this void and provide the much needed competition to the banks.

Speaking at the launch today, Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA, which is also behind the Solution Centre – a collaborative initiative that supplies product development and business supports to the Credit Union sector to enable them to lend to non-core sectors,

“We welcome the excellent work of both Joint Committees and their recognition that the cost of doing business, particularly the cost of borrowing needs be brought down, and that priority should be given to working with the existing framework provided by credit unions and An Post networks nationwide. Credit unions are already playing an increasing role in the Irish retail financial sector and CUDA anticipates working closely with the Central Bank of Ireland to expand the product and services that credit union branches throughout the country can offer individual and business members.

While having enjoyed strong lending growth in 2017, our 48 member credit unions are forecasting rapid growth in 2018 & 2019.”

CUDA say that it has taken a leadership role in lobbying for and developing the changes that are essential for credit unions to meet the demands of the current financial landscape. Through the Solution Centre, they have introduced new products, and implemented new processes and systems that will deliver the benefits that the advocates for public community banking are seeking.”

Mr. Johnson continued,

“Credit Unions have the lending capacity and are developing the expertise to take an enhanced role in relation to lending to SMEs. In tandem with the accompanying management and advisory support structures offered by the Solution Centre, numerous credit unions throughout the country could provide loans to SME’s, say up to €75,000.”

Mr. Johnson concluded,

“Credit unions can be at the financial heartbeat of our indigenous economy and can create a platform for rural revival, and indeed urban stimulation. With 268 credit unions and billions of euro currently available to lend, credit unions are very well positioned to deliver this service.”

Ends

 

Note to the Editor

The Solution Centre

A group of the country’s strongest credit unions established the Solutions Centre, a FinTech facilitated by CUDA, which supplies product development and business supports to the Credit Union sector and has embarked on an ambitious business transformation programme for the sector, of which mortgages is just one milestone.

Rather than simply replicating the actions of banks, the Solution Centre believes that credit unions have the flexibility and adaptability to quickly adopt new ways of doing business that will see a re-building of their market share. Credit Unions participating in our digital loan marketing programme have seen loan growth of 10-20% in a relatively short space of time, with minimal investment. It’s clear the movement’s leading credit unions have embarked on a transformative digital journey.

With 48 of the larger and more progressive credit unions, representing one third of credit unions members, coming together under the Solution Centre umbrella – we now have a structure to facilitate credit unions to achieve their goal of continuing as consumer-owned co-operatives, while delivering much needed new products and services to their members.

 

CUDA

CUDA, the Credit Union Development Association, was legally incorporated in 2003. In its early days it was the representative voice, on behalf of its owner member credit unions, with legislators and regulators. It has since evolved and now, as well as providing a ‘voice’, it is increasingly providing support facilities in the areas of regulatory compliance, risk management, shared services and competency development.

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CUDA supports tiered regulation for Ireland’s heterogeneous Credit Union sector

“Credit unions should be permitted to lend directly to AHBs and local authorities for both social and affordable housing”

 CUDA, the credit union representative and lobby group for Ireland’s largest credit unions has welcomed today’s Oireachtas report on their review of the Credit Union sector.

Speaking at the launch, Kevin Johnson, CEO, Credit Union Development Association,

“We welcome the excellent work of the Joint Committee on Finance and its recognition that immediate priority should be given to a full review of the simplistic and outdated lending limits and concentration limits. We believe that the Implementation Group, which represents all stakeholders, is best positioned to carry this out and that very constructive work has resulted in a proposal being submitted to the Central Bank.”

CUDA say that as advocates of a tiered regulation system for credit unions in Ireland, they were pleased with the Committee’s acknowledgment of the importance of such a system.

Mr. Johnson continued,

We would like to see the urgent introduction of proportionate regulations as set out by the Commission, which will allow some credit unions to continue offering basic savings and loans only, while allowing other credit unions to develop and offer a greater range of services, provided they have what is necessary to manage the additional inherent risks.

While credit unions share the same set of values, in attempting to devise a workable solution to allow credit unions develop their businesses appropriately it must first be recognised that we do not have a homogenous sector and that is why tiered regulation is so important. The Credit Union Act recognises that each credit union will determine what services will be available to their members in their common bond, and the Act also requires regulations to be proportionate based on the nature, scale and complexity of the credit union business model.”

The network group however say that while some progress is being made to allow credit unions invest in social house projects by Tier 3 Approved Housing Bodies more needs to be done to move this along.

 Mr. Johnson went on,

“CUDA believes credit unions should also be permitted to lend directly to AHBs and local authorities for both social and affordable housing. The required enhancement to the Credit Union Act is set out in Appendix 1 of the Committee’s report.

CUDA have set out some of the highlights of the report from their perspective including the following:

  • “This Committee is determined to play its role and assist in whichever way it can by continuing to engage, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the CUAC recommendations.”
  • “The Implementation Group established following the publication of the Credit Union Advisory Committee (CUAC) report meet regularly and as necessary to oversee the implementation of the seven key recommendations contained in the CUAC report and that they present an implementation plan within 3 months of this date and that the implementation be carried out in a period of not less than 2 years.”
  • “Section 35 review. The Committee is of the opinion that the objective of this review is to ensure that a framework is delivered which will allow qualifying credit unions to develop and grow beyond the current permitted lending limits and concentration limits in a meaningful way and therefore allow qualifying credit unions to make the necessary infrastructure investment into new areas such as mortgages to facilitate this.
  • “One of the key recommendations contained in the CUAC report is for a full review of Section 35 lending limits and concentration limits, including the basis of the calculation of the limits together with the liquidity requirements attaching to same.  The Committee endorses this recommendation, notes that this is the first item to be considered by the implementation group and commits to monitor progress with regard to Section 35 lending limits.”
  • “The Committee notes that tiered supervision, with large credit unions encountering a very stringent supervisory regime (through the PRISM process) is not the same as tiered and proportionate regulation which aims to allow progressive credit unions the scope for growth as was recommended by the Commission on Credit Unions.”

Ends

Note to the Editor

CUDA

CUDA, the Credit Union Development Association, was legally incorporated in 2003. In its early days it was the representative voice, on behalf of its owner member credit unions, with legislators and regulators. It has since evolved and now, as well as providing a ‘voice’, it is increasingly providing support facilities in the areas of regulatory compliance, risk management, shared services and competency development.

CUDA is a credit union owned network that enables member credit unions to engage in beneficial activities which would not have proved possible to do as single stand-alone entities. We manage the diverse interests of the members within the network to the mutual benefit of the network. In acting as a catalyst for the growth and development of credit unions, CUDA now makes many of its support services available to all credit unions.

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CUDA Training & Development Programme 2018

The CUDA Training and Development Programme for 2018 includes a number of targeted areas for Boards of Directors, Board Oversight Committees, Management Teams and Credit Union personnel.  All of the programmes are devised collaboratively between CUDA and experts in the field to ensure the content is specifically designed to support Credit Unions in the current challenging environment.

CUDA encourages participation from both member and non-member Credit Unions at all training events, thereby providing a valuable opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing. Leadership development for Boards of Directors, Board Oversight Committees and Management Teams, all mandatory training requirements and training events specifically designed for Credit Union Staff are all included in the 2018 CUDA Training and Development Programme.

Download the CUDA Training & Development Programme for 2018

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New Credit Union Mortgage Framework launches through Solution Centre

Credit Unions enter mortgage market with up to €400m; new lending expected to boost dividends for savers

The Solution Centre, an innovation hub owned by credit unions which supplies business supports, including product development to the Credit Union sector, has announced that is has paved the way for credit unions to enter  the mortgage market. Having built an end-to-end mortgage support framework, including assessment and standardised administration processes, it’s thought there will be significant take-up amongst members of participating Credit Unions for its new offering. The new services is initially being made available to credit unions representing almost 1m credit union members.

Commenting on the launch, Kevin Johnson, CEO of the Credit Union representative body CUDA who manage the Solution Centre, said, “Given the demand, we have spent the last 10 months developing this mortgage framework, and see it as a significant milestone for the Credit Union movement. Through the Solution Centre we have been able to help many credit unions make the move into the mortgage market, and are moving ever closer to our goal of making Irish Credit Unions full service outlets for consumers’ financial needs. Unlike banks, Credit Unions aren’t required to deliver profits for shareholders so anything we offer is priced to meet the needs and demands of members, and credit unions are ideally placed to fill the gap in the market left by Building Societies.

While each Credit Union will make the final underwriting decision on a case by case basis, this scheme is unique in that they will have ongoing access to specialist mortgage and legal expertise to support their own internal resources.

In addition, increased long-term lending will improve the income levels and financial stability of participating credit unions, and may enable them to offer stronger dividend rates and even special offers for savers.”

Good for mortgage borrowers

According to the Solution Centre, Credit Unions are massively ‘under lent’ with hundreds of millions of Euro currently available to borrowers. The Centre believes that delivering greater competition and choice for consumers will put greater pressure on the existing lenders, and could finally force real competition into the market.

Credit Unions are subject to generic lending restrictions through regulation, which dictates that only 10% of their loan book can be for terms greater than 10 years, with the possibility of that being extended to 15%. Heretofore, there were very few credit unions with the capability to provide such loans which is why only 2% of the available €5bn has been lent out on terms over 10 years. This means  that Credit Unions retain a balance of 8% or €400m to lend out,  and that this could be a lot higher, in light of the significant improvement in Board and management capabilities required under 2012 Credit Union Act. It is now essential that these restrictive limits are increased in order to allow more people get their home loan from their credit union.

Participating credit unions are expected to lend for number of specific purposes;

  1. Tenant Purchase Schemes and Affordable Housing

Kevin explained, “There are a number of affordable housing schemes aimed to help lower-income households buy their own homes, and/or buy an existing previously rented council house. Others offer eligible first-time buyers the chance to buy newly constructed homes and apartments at prices significantly less than their market value. Credit Unions are happy to support these purchases, particularly as the loan-to-value ratios are typically relatively low and the existing tenants invariably have a proven payment record.

  1. Trading-up

The Solutions Centre say that families looking to move for more space or for a variety of other reasons will also be catered for.

  1. First Time Buyer

According to Kevin, “The recent changes to the Central Bank’s mortgage rules and the Government’s ‘help to buy’ scheme will boost the number of First Time Buyers looking to buy, and should encourage the Developers to build more new homes. Credit Unions are ready to play their part in helping people to own their own homes.”

Challenging Lending Limits

In accordance with existing regulatory rules, participating Credit Unions will initially utilise the existing 10 year lending limits surplus which should provide sufficient funds up until the end of 2017 at which time the Solution Centre expects the lending limits to be reviewed.

CUDA is currently engaged in a campaign to have the outdated, long-term lending limits reviewed and modernised to more accurately reflect consumer demands and the current financial environment.

Kevin advised, “We believe that Credit Unions shouldn’t be unreasonably prevented from delivering competition to drive down mortgage rates. The current credit union limits were put in place many years ago and are arbitrarily capped whereby they only allow Credit Unions to lend 10% of their loans on terms of 10 years or more. This is a measure which was introduced many years ago and is now out of date. The Central Bank has indicated its desire to see more competition in the mortgage market, as does the Progamme for Government and we believe that changing these rules is the best way to achieve that goal.

Having put the systems and controls in place for credit unions to prudently enter this market, we are working with the Central Bank to remove this rule as there are plenty of other prudential regulatory controls in place to ensure the solvency of those credit unions that wish to increase their long-term lending.

Lending a greater proportion of funds over a longer period would also enable credit unions to offer enhanced long-term savings products with higher interest rates for loyal savers.

Note to the Editor

The Solution Centre

A group of the country’s strongest credit unions established the Solutions Centre, a product developing house facilitated by CUDA, which supplies product development and business supports to the Credit Union sector, and has embarked on an ambitious business transformation programme for the sector, of which mortgages is just one milestone. The Solution Centre is inspired by the Solution Center in Canada, a country where credit unions have long since thrived by offering very competitive mortgages, consumer loans, business finance, current accounts and investment options, driving down the cost of finance and expanding other financial offerings for Canadians. The two organisations have a formal working arrangement in place.

The Solution Centre has previously, and very successfully, rolled out its first ‘solution’ during 2016 i.e. a digital marketing package that enables credit unions to engage and lend to members through Facebook. Many participating Credit Unions have already reported a spike in new lending with some up by 15%.

CUDA

CUDA, the Credit Union Development Association, was legally incorporated in 2003. In its early days, it acted as the representative voice for owner member Credit Unions, with legislators and regulators. The organisation has since evolved and in addition to providing a ‘voice’, has become increasingly engaged in providing support facilities in the areas of regulatory compliance, risk management, shared services and competency development.

CUDA is a Credit Union owned network that enables member Credit Unions to engage in beneficial activities which would not have proved possible to do as single stand-alone entities.

It manages the diverse interests of members to the mutual benefit of the network. In acting as a catalyst for the growth and development of Credit Unions, CUDA now makes many of its support services available to all Credit Unions.

Further note on Mortgages
The Minister for Finance’s Credit Union Advisory Committee [CUAC] concluded in June ’16  that we now have a strengthened framework in operation as complete and extensive as in the most sophisticated of credit union movements. Credit unions have now in place new governance arrangements as well as risk management and systems and controls arrangements which are consistent and reflective of a modern regulatory framework. Additionally, consideration of the level of provisions, liquidity and reserve ratios highlight that most credit unions now appear well positioned to withstand shocks to their balance sheet. In May ’15 the then Central Bank Governor, commenting on mortgage standard variable interest rates [SVR] stated “the SVR borrower’s main protection is competition: the fact that, by setting its SVR rate too high, any bank stands to lose business (whether new business or switchers) to competitors.  Whereas this protection was effective pre-crisis, the level of competition currently is too low.  Ensuring that official policy does not inadvertently deter competition and entry of banks to the market is thus vital for the long-term health of the economy.” Who better than credit unions, with their demonstrated financial and management capabilities, to provide this competition for a range of financial services, and provide the people and communities across Ireland with a real alternative, and one that research shows they want.

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The future for Credit Unions – Kevin Johnson – Sunday Business Post – 15th January 2017

Ireland’s credit unions must try to meet the needs of borrowers and savers by evolving

What’s uniquely interesting about credit unions is that the ‘problem’ is how to deal with, and build on, success. Credit Unions have approximately 3 million members, who continue to shrewdly save and have now amassed in excess of €12bn in savings. The challenge for credit unions is how to help their members who continue to build their ‘safety net’ through savings with a fair reward without putting these funds at risk – the latter of which is a shared objective with the regulator. Consistent with the objectives of the credit union, as enshrined in legislation, they also want to meet the borrowing needs of their members with a range of loans. This will ensure mutual benefit for savers and borrowers, by charging a fair rate to borrowers and paying a fair rate to savers.

Credit unions have embraced the enhanced governance framework, introduced in the Credit Union Act 2012 and subsequent regulations, at significant additional costs, but, as intended in the report by the Commission on Credit Unions, the quid pro quo of a more enabling tiered regulatory approach has not yet been delivered. It is worth noting that credit unions are more restricted now than prior to 2012 as a result of these new regulations – that’s not good for consumers, communities or their credit unions.

So what’s the way forward? There are several actions that can be taken to ensure the uniqueness of the credit union model is recognised by decision makers, while credit unions themselves can continue to evolve their capabilities;

  1. Establish a ‘Select Sub-Committee on Credit Unions’ from the Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach to play a key role in scrutinising the ongoing relevance of legislation, policy and related credit union matters;
  2. Introduce proportionate regulations, which will allow some credit unions to continue offering basic savings and loans only, while allowing other credit unions to develop and offer a greater range of services, provided they have what is necessary to manage the additional inherent risks.
  3. Amend the Credit Union Act ‘97 to allow credit unions lend directly to Housing Bodies for Social & Affordable Housing. This will let them meet their social objectives which will help counter balance any perceived loss of cohesion and identity as they get bigger;
  4. Reflect the importance of credit unions to the people of Ireland by having their regulator, the Registrar of Credit Unions, report directly to the Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland.
  5. Build on the successes of 2016, probably the biggest year of change in the credit union sector for decades, with considerable consolidation through mergers and the establishment of non-partisan collaboration groups such as the Solution Centre.

While CUDA will relentlessly continue to seek actions 1 to 4 above, action 5 means that credit unions offering a full range of financial services, from personal loans, mortgages, payments, investments, insurance and pensions, is now closer than ever before. We are seeing a rapidly increasing level of cooperation between credit unions, which initially focused on shared management service arrangements such as regulatory compliance and risk management, but has now expanded to significant projects supported with full risk analysis to enable a more expedient regulatory approval process facilitated through the formation of the Solution Centre, a hothouse unit developing specialist products, supports and solutions for credit unions and now has membership of credit unions who manage over one third of the assets of the sector.

Credit Unions who share the desire to develop their business model are collaborating through the Solution Centre and are starting to deliver a stronger and more forthright sector. This is good for consumers on so many levels – apart from ensuring fair interest rates and fees in the market, it allows people to be part of a highly-networked community focused on economic, social and environmental change.

It’s already working because initiatives are fully thought through; for example, in the case of the new mortgage support offering, a full assessment of all the steps in the process was completed and those credit unions utilising this resource will have ongoing access to specialist expertise. This should give confidence to regulators to extend the limits under which all credit unions currently operate.

Credit unions working together have the desire and the skill-set to develop and to become a real alternative to banks and other finance houses.  Credit unions have approximately €4billion out in loans, which is less than 30% of their assets, ideally this should be closer to 70%. This means they have a staggering €6bn available to lend.

So, what does all this development mean for credit union members? Anyone who joins will get improved, better tailored financial services in terms of mortgages, personal lending and savings, while also participating in a unique relationship with their credit union.  While members are often aware of how dependent they are on their credit union, it is actually an interdependent relationship. In practical terms, credit unions will improve their communications to ensure that members appreciate the co-dependent benefits of doing business with their credit union, and will not want or need to go elsewhere for their financial services.

Kevin Johnson

Chief Executive Officer

Credit Union Development Association

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CUDA Welcomes CUAC Report

 CUDA welcomes CUAC report

 Modernising Credit Union Lending rules will deliver real value in mortgages and personal loans

The representative body for Credit Unions CUDA has welcomed the publication of the CUAC report which reviewed the implementation of the recommendations in the Commission on Credit Unions.

Commenting on the findings, Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA, “The report highlights the long overdue need to review the current credit union lending limits. Modernising these will deliver better value for consumers in personal loans, mortgages and other financial services areas, something that the Government acknowledges is sorely missing in our economy.

We are also pleased to see our call has been listened to – we have long been advocating for a change in the outdated long-term lending limits to more accurately reflect consumer demands and the current financial environment”.

CUDA has also strongly campaigned for changes to be implemented that will allow Credit Unions to immediately provide funds for social and affordable housing, thereby helping to meet the serious supply problems facing prospective home buyers.

Kevin went on to explain, “Fundamentally, Credit Unions offering a full range of account and financial services, from personal loans to mortgages and savings to pensions, will drive greater competition. This will lead to lower cost products which can only be good for all consumers and which is all but absent from the market at the moment. We look forward to working with the proposed Implementation Group to make this a reality.”

The representative body say that an aspect of the report that struck them was that “the need for leadership at the centre and an understanding of the risks involved in longer-term lending were flagged by the Central Bank as areas of concern for credit unions seeking to move in this direction.”

Kevin commented, “This is something we are firmly behind and we have made great strides in this regard with the establishment of the “Solution Centre” which facilitates collaboration, innovation and business development”.

The Solution Centre, which is open to all credit unions, comprises a selection of the country’s strongest credit unions and is a hothouse unit developing specialist products, supports and solutions.

Kevin went on to say, “We have already delivered a number of projects that were drawn from the objectives of participating Credit Unions strategic plans. One of the first of these products will be supporting a mortgage offering which is expected to be available in August to participating credit unions representing approximately 25% of credit union members”.

CUDA says the report also correctly acknowledges the great work of all stakeholders which is resulting in ever strengthening Credit Unions.

Kevin concluded, “We thank the CUAC for the thoughtful consideration they have given to our proposals. Credit Unions continue to grow their market share of the consumer loan market and, now with strong capital, stronger governance and greater capabilities, they are fantastically positioned to broaden the range of services they offer to current and potential members”.

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Credit Unions call for Dublin differentiation, a ‘No Equity’ category and an LTI of 3.75 in Central Bank mortgage rules review

Credit Unions shouldn’t be unreasonably prevented from delivering competition to drive down mortgage rates

The Credit Union Development Association (CUDA) intend to present its submission to the Central Bank of Ireland ahead of its review of its macro prudential mortgage measures, in which it will call for three simple but equitable changes to the current rules for new mortgages.

At the same time, CUDA is seeking to have the long-term credit union lending limits removed or substantially changed as it believes that they are unduly restricting competition in the mortgage market. The representative body says that Credit Unions are massively under lent with billions of Euro currently available. They contend that delivering greater competition to consumers could finally see standard variable rates (SVR) drop below 3%.

Presently, credit unions are generally only allowed to lend 10% of their loans, on terms of 10years or more. CUDA believes that this rule should be removed as there are plenty of other prudential regulatory controls in place to ensure the solvency of those credit unions that wish to lend more over the long-term.

Lending a greater proportion of funds over a longer period would also enable credit unions to offer enhanced long-term savings products with higher interest rates.

Mortgage rules review

CUDA is calling for a change in the Loan to Income (LTI) limit which currently stands at 3.5 times. The Credit Union representative body will ask the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) to allow for a slight increase in the LTI – to allow people borrow up to 3.75 times their income. The Solution Centre, a CUDA managed innovation business unit, has researched the issues in anticipation of a new mortgage offering and believes that this relatively small change could significantly boost the number of couples on average income that qualify for a typical starter home particularly in Dublin where prices are so much higher.

A new starter house in Dublin typically costs €300,000 and most people reasonably assume that first time buyers will need a €38,000 deposit under the Loan to value (LTV) rules – 10% up to €220,000 and 20% on the balance. But even assuming a higher than average household income of €70,000, the current LTI of 3.5 will mean that they will need a much bigger deposit of €55,000  regardless of whether they qualify for the lower First Time Buyer exemption under the LTV rules.  If the LTI is raised to just 3.75, this would reduce the deposit required to €37,500 which is still a sizeable deposit, however it is more comparable with the €38,000 LTV deposit requirement.

CUDA’s submission will also suggest that the categories of First Time Buyer (FTB) and Trader-up (TU) should be changed to reflect the financial environment in which we currently live. They contend that when these phrases were first coined, it was assumed that while applicants might have had savings, FTBs didn’t have any equity from a previous home while TU’s always did. So the rules were softened for FTBs to give them a better chance. Unfortunately, many families in their 30s, 40s and 50s are now in the TU category – looking to trade up to a bigger \ family friendly house, however, having bought just before the downturn, they don’t have any equity to carry from their current home. CUDA is advocating that buyers should instead be categorised by ‘Equity’ and ‘No Equity’.

CUDA also believes that the mortgage lending limits in Dublin and other large urban areas need to reflect that it is a wholly different market to the rest of the country, with much higher purchase prices and far higher rental prices.

According to Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA, “we know the demand is there, but many people cannot meet the new rules because of Loan to income (LTI) rule. While Loan to value (LTV) limits are spoken of far more in the media, we believe that a small modification to the LTI rule would have a bigger impact without causing an undue spike so as to avoid any significant pressure on house prices.

The loan caps have had the, perhaps unintended, but negative consequences of forcing more and more people to remain in rental accommodation in big cities particularly Dublin which is putting upward pressure on rental rates. The increase in rents has been a significant contributor to the homeless crisis as people on rent support or supplement are unable to compete with the private sector for increasingly reducing number of properties. CUDA believes that the current Central Bank rules are contributing to slowing the migration of people from rental to purchase, which is having a knock on impact on everyone else in the rental sector.”

Credit Union Mortgage lending limits – Competition

CUDA is also engaged in a campaign to have the outdated long-term lending limits reviewed and modernised to more accurately reflect consumer demands and the current financial environment.

According to Kevin, ‘We believe that Credit Unions shouldn’t be unreasonably prevented from delivering competition to drive down mortgage rates. The current credit union limits are arbitrarily capped at 10% of all lending, a crude measure introduced many years ago that is now out of date. The Central Bank has indicated its desire to see more completion in the mortgage market; we believe that this is the best way to achieve it.’

CUDA

CUDA, the Credit Union Development Association, was legally incorporated in 2003. In its early days it was the representative voice, on behalf of its owner member credit unions, with legislators and regulators. It has since evolved and now, as well as providing a ‘voice’, it is increasingly providing support facilities in the areas of regulatory compliance, risk management, shared services and competency development.

 The Solution Centre

A select group of the country’s strongest credit unions led by the CUDA established The Solutions Centre, a hothouse unit developing specialist products, supports and solutions. One of the first of these products will be supporting a mortgage offering which is expected to be available in July to participating credit unions representing approximately 25% of credit union members.

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Election 2016 – Credit Union Manifesto

The value that credit unions bring to Ireland is rooted in the simple co-operative business model of local people saving together and lending to other constituency members at affordable interest rates, and any evaluation of credit unions must be an overall positive one.

 Since 1958 Credit Unions have improved the lives of millions of Irish people, they are poised to do so much more – your local credit union needs your help to deliver for your constituents.

As an election candidate do you want to help the credit union movement help more people? If yes, see below for what you can do…

  1. Ensure the uniqueness of the credit union model is not sacrificed to strengthen banks – end generic laws and rules that do not recognise the local credit union difference;
    • Establish a ‘Select Sub-Committee on Credit Unions’ to consider legislation, policy and related matters;
    • Prevent the erosion of our credit union model by ensuring EU rules transposed in Ireland are appropriate for credit unions;
    • Ensure introduction of proportionate regulations as required by law – appropriate tiered regulation that is realistic, flexible, attainable and operational;
  2. Enhance the Credit Union Act ‘97 to allow credit unions lend to Housing Bodies for Social Housing;
  3. Include credit unions in State backed initiatives, such as the credit guarantee scheme, and let them support SMEs;
  4. Help modernise membership communication by reforming requirements for how member engagement must happen;
  5. Ensure micro-management by Regulators permits fair competition for members
    • who wish to use their credit union for their savings,
    • who want their credit union to provide more longer term credit such as home loans;
  6. Introduce a Rulebook that transparently sets out processes for all regulatory engagements.

For more information, contact CUDA at info@cuda.ie or 01 4693715.

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CUDA Training and Development Calendar 2016

The CUDA Training and Development Programme for 2016 includes a number of targeted areas for Boards of Directors, Board Oversight Committees, Management Teams and Credit Union personnel.  All of the programmes are devised collaboratively between CUDA and experts in the field to ensure the content is specifically designed to support Credit Unions in the current challenging environment.

CUDA encourages participation from both member and non-member Credit Unions at all training events, thereby providing a valuable opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing. Leadership development for Boards of Directors, Board Oversight Committees and Management Teams, all mandatory training requirements and training events specifically designed for Credit Union Staff are all included in the 2016 CUDA Training and Development Programme.

Download the CUDA Training & Development Programme for 2016

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CUDA AGM & Conference 2016

The 2016 CUDA AGM and Conference took place in the Slieve Russell Hotel Golf & Country Club, Ballyconnell, Co Cavan on Saturday 30th January 2016. It was yet another exciting and informative event, with participation from numerous credit unions.  Speakers on the day included Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys and the Registrar of Credit Unions, Anne Marie McKiernan.

If you would like further details on the conference, please email info@cuda.ie or call the CUDA office on 01 4693715.

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