Commenting on Ulster bank’s planned exit, Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA (Credit Union Development Association, “It’s unavoidable that some banking customers will be badly hit when Ulster Bank exits the market.
Unlike other in countries such as Canada and the USA, Irish consumers have an over-dependence on a couple of large national banks and, as a country, we have traditionally underutilised local banking and credit options.
But it’s not all bad news for consumers – there are options.
The level of development in many Credit Unions in recent years has been strong. The vast majority of them have substantially modernised their operations and they are now well placed to provide banking and credit facilities to the thousands of personal and business customers impacted by today’s announcement.
While well known for their range of personal loans, most Credit Unions now offer current accounts, business lending, mortgages, Agri-loans, home, life and travel insurance. Reliable and efficient online banking is now the norm and the uptake from members has been strong.
With strengthened governance controls and growing business lending expertise, our representative body CUDA, is currently in talks with the Minister for Finance to amend legislation to allow credit unions to co-lend on larger property related and commercial loans.
While much of Ulster Bank’s customer base may end up with the two pillar banks, we are confident that many consumers will see that credit unions are well positioned to step in and fill some of the void left behind in the Irish banking sector.”