Skip to main content

Central Bank of Ireland

CUDA comments on CBI Financial Conditions of Credit Unions Report

By News

Commenting on the ‘Financial Conditions of Credit Unions’ report, published by the Central Bank this morning, Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA (Credit Union Development Association) said “This morning’s report shows that lending is strong across the credit union sector, with a 12pc increase in loans for the financial year ended 30 September 2023. Loan growth has continued into 2024 and this is reflective of the huge demand for credit union loans and the increased ability of credit unions to meet this demand across multiple channels. Furthermore, thanks to legislative changes signed last February, we expect the scale of credit union lending to significantly increase in the coming months and years – because from September 2024, for the first time, credit unions will be able to offer a service or product such as a home loan to a member of another credit union – under a formal arrangement with that other credit union. For householders and aspiring homeowners, this means there will be greater access to fairer mortgages as credit unions will be able to refer mortgage applications to other credit unions should they not be in a position to provide a mortgage themselves. This effectively means that every credit union in the country will be able to offer mortgages. As a result of these changes, CUDA contends that total new credit union mortgage lending could reach €1 billion per annum by 2027, which could put credit unions in the top five mortgage lenders.

Furthermore, the Credit Union Regulatory Lending Framework review is ongoing in the Central Bank at present and is due to be published by the end of June. On foot of this review, we would hope going forward that further changes will be implemented which will permit credit unions to lend more.

While after falling to a seven-year low the last time this report was published[1], the slight increase in arrears captured in this morning’s report is a sombre reminder of the pressure that the increased cost of living has brought on people. Credit unions are very cognisant of this and continue to remain supportive of anyone who is experiencing difficulties.  We believe the low increase is testament to the competitive interest rates available from credit unions as well as the work that credit unions do with any customers who may run into difficulties repaying their loans.

This morning’s report also shows that there’s been an increase in reserves across the sector, with all credit unions reporting regulatory reserves that are comfortably above the required regulatory minimum. This is evidence of prudent financial management by credit unions – which in turn underpins member confidence and enables credit unions to expand on their service offerings and continue to win more of the mortgage and lending pie from the Irish banks and non-banks alike.”




[1] As per Financial Stability Report for financial year to 30 September 2022, published in March 2023

CUDA comments on the CBI Report on Financial Conditions of Credit Unions

By News

The Central Bank of Ireland have today (30th March 2023) published its ninth edition of the Financial Conditions of Credit Unions Report.

Commenting on the Central Bank’s report on the Financial Conditions of the Credit Union sector, ‘Kevin Johnson, CEO of the Credit Union Development Association, which works with over 50 credit unions, said

“Loan volumes are up, and the loan-to-asset ratio is definitely improving, but not by as much or as quickly as we would like. We believe that there’s an absolute need to resolve this by expanding the loan profile of credit unions and prudently growing loan books across the sector.  

Competition in the mortgage market has reduced following the departures of Ulster Bank and KBC, and with the non-banks struggling to offer competitively priced products, there’s a clear opening for credit unions to substantially expand their mortgage products. CUDA has been at the forefront of this, with its members initially entering the mortgage market in 2018 targeting specific lending needs, since 2021 we have worked with credit unions to expand their offerings and we are now working to expand this to more credit unions. 

New legislation that is progressing through the Oireachtas and scheduled for enactment this year will support this, as it will allow credit unions to refer lending business to each other which means that even those credit unions without mortgage lending underwriting skills will be able to facilitate their members. 

Each credit union is a separate legal entity with its own Board and management team, and they are not currently permitted to share business. These changes will help credit unions make a greater financial, social, and environmental contribution as their legislation framework is modernised.

Credit Unions have significantly modernised in the past decade – their structure, legal and regulatory status, product offerings, and service delivery methods have advanced considerably. In particular their digital capabilities were accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic. Members can still access the traditional set of personal loans and savings, and now they can also avail of current accounts, ‘one stop shop’ retrofit loans, mortgages, revolving credit, debit cards, community loans, agricultural loans, as well as loans for small businesses.  These are accessible face to face, over the phone or via online facilities.  Recent rises in interest rates will have a significantly positive impact on the ROA for all credit unions as this will result in them getting a better return on their investments.”

CUDA Congratulates New Registrar of Credit Unions on her Appointment

By News

The Central Bank of Ireland has today announced the appointment of Elaine Byrne as the new Registrar of Credit Unions (CBI press release available here.)

CUDA CEO, Kevin Johnson stated ‘We have had the pleasure of working with Elaine in her role as Deputy Registrar for the past 16 years.  In congratulating Elaine on her appointment we very much look forward to a constructive and positive engagement with her and her team.  Elaine takes on the important role of Registrar at an incredibly busy time for credit union regulation, an agenda that includes implementation of the outcomes from the Credit Union Policy Review, role of CUs in the Consumer Protection Code review, impacts of the Individual Accountability Framework, business development initiatives, role of credit unions in the Retail Banking Review, various EU / EBA directives as well as our ongoing work on capital and liquidity requirements for credit unions.


Central Bank of Ireland’s Update on Financial Condition of the Credit Union Sector

By News

The Central Bank today (14 December) published its eighth edition of the Financial Conditions of Credit Unions Report. The report provides an update on the financial performance and position of credit unions, to inform credit unions and provide input for boards as they undertake their own strategic analysis and decision-making.

Commenting on the Central Bank of Ireland’s update on the financial condition of the Credit Union sector, Kevin Johnson CEO of CUDA (Credit Union Development Association), stated

“As seen in the report credit unions have the funds and the market reach, and we are delighted to see the breadth of services now available from many of them. The credit union movement could play a more active role, within their respective communities, in supporting housing association ownership, home ownership and retrofitting through sustainable and prudent lending, particularly as banks continue to reduce their presence in local towns and villages across the country. While credit unions have invested heavily in their digital capabilities in recent years to meet the convenience needs of many consumers, they have not abandoned those, of all ages, that prefer the face-to-face customer experience, whether it’s a simply transaction or a complex query.

The sector can only achieve its potential though continuing with their business model change, and this has to be enabled by an appropriate legislative and regulatory framework. Given the right structure, this could increase from current level of €5.25bn to €10.5bn.  We are constructively engaged in the Government Policy Review process and look forward to amended legislation that will enable all credit unions and their members prosper.”