Your credit union is a vital and essential service in your respective communities. For many members you are their only source of key services, such as access to credit, their income, their savings and payment services. Over the coming months you will continue to be a vital service in overcoming the impact of Covid-19 as members continue to need these key financial services. As you know, on Thursday we had a teleconference with the Registrar and his senior team (see email below). Yesterday, CUDA, ILCU, CUMA and NSF had a telephone meeting with Brian Corr and his team in the Department of Finance. The call was positive and we will continue to communicate with the Dept on at least a weekly basis, including with Minister Donohoe next week.
The following items were discussed with the Dept.:
- Press Release – that the Minister will issue a statement in association with the Credit Union Bodies providing reassurance to credit unions, your members and the wider community. The Dept. is cognisant of the fact that with over 240 individually governed credit unions a standardised approach similar to that adopted by the 5 banks is not feasible. Therefore the focus will be on credit union values, continued commitment to serve members ad for members experiencing repayment difficulties to contact their credit union;
- Acknowledgement by Dept of Finance that credit unions are important and provide an essential service; there will be an concerted effort to ensure information and trends are provided in real time;
- Cash availability – the Dept. requested to assist with ensuring availability for credit unions;
- Security – request that Dept. informs authorities that additional security measures may be required to maintain the security of cash deliveries and staff in handling cash, and that this may be facilitated by the additional gardai expected in communities;
- Forbearance – Dept reminded that credit unions are also mortgage providers and requested to ensure factored in and parity in treatment;
- Co-ordination – there will be an effort to ensure co-ordinated messaging across all government departments in particular relating to the banking sector and credit unions;
- Liquidity mgt – remains on review to understand if supports will be required for credit unions. Dept to discuss such supports (incl. regulatory reserve, provisioning, investments) with Registrar;
- Operational matters such as staffing and business continuity; acknowledging the health and safety of staff and the importance of keeping offices open;
- We will have further meeting next Wednesday.
Stay safe, regards for now, Kevin