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CUDA welcomes new Minister for State with specific Credit Union responsibility

By | News

Credit Unions contact the new Minister offering support for rebuilding the economy at local and national level

Credit unions have warmly welcomed the appointment of Seán Fleming TD as Minister of State at the Department of Finance with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance.

Commenting on the appointment, Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA,

We welcome the appointment of Minister Fleming and as he works through the extremely difficult challenges in his role, we believe that credit unions can play a vital role in supporting him and his Government colleagues with the rebuilding of Ireland’s economy. 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 Fleming to further broaden the financial support that credit unions can offer members and their local communities.

We have written to Minister Fleming to share with him 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”.

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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Journey to the Model Credit Union Digital Webinar

By | Events, News

The Solution Centre hosts two Webinars showcasing Digital solutions to improve member engagement – don’t miss the next one on 30th June at 3pm read more here

The Solution Centre is pleased to invite you to a webinar that will focus on the digital shared services and platforms we have developed and how they can help your credit union grow lending, reduce costs and better engage with Members. You will also see how they are being used with great success by some of your fellow credit unions.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday 30th June from 3 pm to 4 pm. If you would like to attend please complete the short registration form below. Registration is open to everyone so please do feel free to share this link with any colleagues who may be interested.

Registration:  Here

The webinar will cover;

Hive Platform – a bespoke Member engagement platform built collaboratively by a group of credit unions to manage digital marketing and Member communication more effectively. To date it has helped originate €120 million in lending while reducing IT costs.
Digital Marketing Shared Services – cost effective shared services available to improve the performance of digital marketing.
Digital Processes – How to improve Member experience with online loan application and member onboarding processes that integrate seamlessly from digital marketing to the Hive platform.
FinTech Enablers – The FinTech plug-ins that integrate throughout the Member’s digital journey to give them an exceptional online experience that makes it really easy for them to do business with your credit union, while improving credit union performance.

We do hope you can make the webinar, but if you are not available please do contact us at info@solutioncentre.ie to discuss digital solutions at any time.

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.

COVID-19 Update

By | COVID-19, News

CUDA, and our Member Credit Unions, are following the COVID-19 developments very closely. We continue to monitor the latest advice from the Government and from the HSE, and want you to know that we have plans in place to ensure members continue to be able to access the services they need.

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New lending rules will finally allow Credit Unions to compete

By | News

Survey – 3 out of 4 (77%) Consumers believe Credit Unions should compete more aggressively with Banks

  • Some credit unions poised to double or triple loan book size as a result of rule changes to longer-term loans
  • Credit unions disappointed at limited permission to become a key business loan provider and to support Government Housing Schemes

CUDA believes that the new rules which aligns the volume of loans a credit union can issue to their asset size is fundamental, and could enable many credit unions to double or treble their lending in certain loan classes.

Credit unions can and should ‘take on the banks’, according to more than 70% of Irish adults in a recent survey, commissioned by CUDA and conducted by iReach. The majority (74%) of adults believe that credit unions could make a bigger impact and should collaborate to compete with the banks.

Kevin Johnson, CEO of the Credit Union Development Association (CUDA), commenting on the new rules issued by the Central Bank of Ireland today, said  “Up until now the level of loans the credit union should give out was based on the percentage of loans already issued. This was holding credit unions back from providing more loans to support their members and their communities. Now the volume of loans will be based on a percentage of assets of the credit union. With an average of just 28% of assets currently lent out, the Regulations will allow many credit unions to do more loans for more people.

CUDA has persistently lobbied for these changes since 2015 and are delighted that these changes will bring much needed competition to the market for mortgages, home renovations and business loans”.

“We look forward to providing the wider range and higher volume of loans now permitted under the new rules and welcome the Regulator’s commitment to re-evaluating these limits as the sector evolves in these areas of lending. In particular CUDA believes credit unions are ready and willing to help do more in filling the void for business loans left by the banks”.

Kevin Johnson went on to express disappointment that credit unions will be prohibited from supporting aspects of Government Housing Policy such as the Repair and Leasing Scheme. There is no logic, he said, to prohibiting credit unions from providing much needed loans to their members who want to help rebuild Ireland through the Repair and Leasing Scheme. Kevin further expressed disappointment with the limit on the number of business loans a credit union can do in a time when many credit union members who are small businesses are crying out for funding.

CUDA is committed to getting solutions to these issues and will speak directly with the Department of Finance, Department of Housing and the CBI on these matters.

Kevin concluded, “It’s very encouraging to find that 59% of people aged between 18-34 either agreed or strongly agreed with the perception of credit unions being ‘dynamic and innovative’. We have made huge effort and investment in recent years to develop our work in line with advances in technology through our innovation hub, the Solution Centre. In the past three years we have introduced new lending products and these new limit rules from the Central Bank will allow us help credit unions further develop. Our Digital Marketing adverts reached 2.74m people so far in 2019, creating over 18,000 loan leads with a value of €102m. We are committed to broadening the appeal and relevance of the credit union movement among younger generations, and to making our services as accessible as possible, to as many members as we can, both old and new.”

-ENDS