All Posts By

dawn.kennedy@cuda.ie

CUDA welcomes first Minister with specific Credit Union responsibility

By News, Representation

Credit Unions hopeful that the Minister can support the ongoing expansion of services to members and local communities

Credit unions have warmly welcomed the appointment of Jack Chambers TD as Minister of State for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance which represents a significant step as it’s the first time that any Minister will have specific responsibility for the development of credit unions. According to CUDA (The Credit Union Development Association), Ireland’s Credit Unions have in excess of 3 million members and are the sole provider of credit for many of these members, accounting for approximately 34% of the consumer lending market.

Commenting on the appointment, Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA, said “We welcome the appointment of Minister Chambers and are committed to supporting him in his new role. Credit unions continue to excel at consumer lending, and are in far better shape to support members than was the case during the banking crisis. We have solid financials, with average capital of 16.5%, stronger governance, great digital capabilities and a reputation as Ireland’s most trusted financial services brand. We have an increased range of lending products – consumer loans now complimented with home loans and business loans, and we look forward to working with Minister Chambers to further broaden the financial support that credit unions can offer members and their local communities.

Keeping key credit union services available to members since the onset of Covid-19 has been a key factor in maintaining morale in local communities. Credit Unions have long believed in playing our role in addressing major socio-economic needs and see the provision of financial supports to be part of that duty.

We have written to Minister Chambers setting out how credit unions can support him in achieving aspects of the Programme for Government and contribute to rebuilding the economy, both at local and national level.”

Supporting SME’s under financial pressure

Mr Johnson went on to say, “Credit unions have significant members savings available for lending and their renowned personal touch that is normally applied to consumers can equally be applied to SME’s at their time of need. We hope the Minister will support our efforts to be part of the Credit guarantee scheme and while the scheme only guarantees a proportion of the money lent, we would be prepared to carry the balance of that risk for businesses in our local communities.”

Credit Unions are ready and willing to invest in social, co-operative and affordable housing schemes that could otherwise stall as a result of Covid-19

“Investment in social, co-operative and affordable housing schemes is required for Ireland to solve its housing crisis, and demand for this segment may increase as more people’s incomes suffer. Such lending is well aligned to the credit union purpose. We would support an amendment of the Credit Union Act to allow providers of such properties, such as AHBs, Housing Co-Ops, Local Authorities and others to become credit union members solely for the purpose of borrowing for their constituted objectives.”

Covid-19 Recovery Bond

By News

Credit Unions support the ordinary saver in accordance with their statutory object – to promote thrift among its members by the accumulation of their savings. This will continue, indeed funds are flowing into credit unions as they are highly trusted.

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West of Ireland Credit Unions in Proposed Merger

By News

On 15th June 2020, a proposed merger between St Anthony’s & Claddagh Credit Union & St Jarlath’s Credit Union was announced. Combining the resources of the two successful credit unions will create one of Ireland’s most significant credit unions, which will be hugely beneficial for members, local communities and Galway in general. The two credit unions have successfully collaborated on a number of initiatives over the past number of years, and have also been to the forefront of many major projects which have benefited them and indeed other credit unions throughout the country. In particular these have included digital-marketing and member engagement roll-outs. The two credit unions are strong both financially and reputationally, and with the advances they have made in digitising their services, they have significantly improved member experiences by making it easier for people to do business with their credit union.

CUDA, particularly through its collaborate digital development hub, the Solution Centre, is hugely impressed with the innovation and sector leadership shown by St Anthony’s & Claddagh and St Jarlath’s Credit Unions over the last few years and wish them well with this initiative.

Member communication support for CEO’s

By COVID-19, Owner Members

Many thanks to all who joined the conference call this afternoon where Peter Mitchell, Business Talk, provided us with helpful advice, best practices and tips. Peter spoke of having key messages, express understanding, important factors around crisis communications, what to do next, how to deal with worries and threats, and finally how to perform in a local Radio Interview. The following is a summary of the points covered by Peter:

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Update for CUDA Owners 24th March 2020 – COVID19 Indicative List of Essential Retail Outlets

By COVID-19, Owner Members

Following the Taoiseach’s announcement this afternoon, please click here to see the list of essential retail outlets.

As you are aware there has been considerable discussion on the status of Credit unions, we can now confirm we are considered an essential retail outlets, which must implement social distancing measures.

We will update you when further information is available as to how this gets implemented.

Regards for now, Kevin

 

Update for CUDA Owner Members 21st March ’20

By COVID-19, Owner Members

Hello all,

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.

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Update for CUDA Owner Member CEOs – re. premises

By COVID-19, Owner Members

Hello again,

Quick update on treatment of premises should a staff member display symptoms of Covid-19 virus and be obliged to self-isolate and/or be tested. We have spoken with HSE officials this am, who were extremely helpful and understanding, and they advise that the staff member effected is immediately sent home, or informed to stay at home, and follow the instructions for self-isolation or request a test as set out at www.hse.ie.

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Important Update for CUDA Owner Member CEOs

By COVID-19, Owner Members

Hello all,

We have just become aware of one credit union, in the South West, where a staff member is obliged to be tested for Covid-19 and this could force temporary closure of that office, for deep cleaning and a replacement front line team. This credit union is fortunate to have a branch network, and therefore the continuation of key services to members is maintained.

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