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credit union

Vacancy – Risk Management Officer

By News

Job Description

Risk Management Officer 

First Tech Credit Union is providing an opportunity to join a dynamic and prosperous financial institution which is dedicated to delivering exceptional value and service to its members.

Job Description

The Risk Management Officer (RMO) is responsible for providing risk leadership to the Credit Union, establishing a risk infrastructure and framework which will enable the efficient and effective governance across the Credit Union for all categories of risk, including but not limited to, strategic, reputational, data, credit, IT and operational.

The job holder will also hold the position of Data Protection Officer and will be responsible for ensuring that data protection compliance goals are met.

The job holder will work closely with the CEO, the CFO, the Compliance Officer and senior management team in identifying, defining, and remediating various risk-related issues in attaining established compliance goals as directed by the Board of Directors and the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).

The RMO is part of the senior management team and reports directly to the CEO. S/he will also have a dotted line to the Board and will report directly to the Board and Risk committee on a regular basis. 

Key Responsibilities of the Risk Management Officer: 

  • Identifying, assessing, reporting, monitoring and managing all internal and external risks that could affect the operations of the credit union, including risks to its employees, members, data, reputation and assets, and assisting the CEO in mitigating those risks
  • Establish best in class policies, procedures and processes for operational, IT, credit, market, and liquidity risk
  • Establish a risk management framework to identify, measure, monitor and report exposure to all categories of risk
  • Embed a risk management culture in the organization; to include risk training for staff.
  • Develop, manage and refine qualitative and quantitative risk reporting which meets the needs of the senior management and the Board in order to support effective decision making.
  • Collaborate with the Board and senior management team to mould a high-achieving, well-controlled organisation which can achieve growth targets safely and identify, and assess and control emerging risks
  • Act as primary contact for the Board of Directors for all governance, business and project risk issues
  • Develop and implement an annual Risk Plan with regular reporting to the Risk Committee and Board of Directors
  • Provide regular update of the risk register, including risk and controls in order to support the business by identifying emerging trends and threats
  • Assist the credit union in assessing its risk appetite and tolerance levels on an ongoing basis;
  • Provide Risk Management Reports to the Board of Directors, CEO and the Risk Committee to include assessments / updates on related business and project matters
  • Ensure risk exposure and incidents are effectively aggregated and reported, providing management with a comprehensive view of overall risk exposure. Maintain oversight of new business and IT projects to ensure that risks are being addressed
  • Lead in the development of risk management standards, governance, policy and procedures across the credit union.
  • Evaluate the existing data protection framework and identify areas of non or partial compliance and rectify any issues
  • Ensure the company’s policy and procedures are accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and codes of practice
  • Inform and advise the Data Controller or Data Processor on all matters related to data protection
  • Promote a culture of data protection compliance across all units of the organization
  • Maintaining comprehensive records of all data processing activities conducted by the credit union, including the purpose of all processing activities.
  • Monitor the external environmental and wider credit union sector for changes that will present environmental risks to the credit union
  • Mitigate the effects of risks/threats which may be unavoidable.
  • Ensure effective communication takes place with the Compliance Officer
  • The Risk Officer will deputise for the Compliance Officer as needed. 

Key Requirements of the Job Holder

  • Ability to interpret and disseminate the impact and requirements of new laws and regulations.
  • The ability to build effective relationships with internal and external stakeholders and the ability to interact effectively with different audiences is required.
  • Maturity and gravitas to ensure that the risk management function is fully embedded into the credit union.
  • Strong business sense and understanding of the evolving credit union business model.
  • Organised, detailed, focused individual with good communication and presentation skills
  • Expertise in European data protection laws and practices including an in-depth understanding of GDPR
  • Strong project management skills, possess the ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously, and have the ability to work on own initiative and to meet deadlines.
  • Assure risk direction is aligned with business strategies
  • Foster risk management as a core competency throughout the credit union and facilitate risk training within the credit union
  • Highly computer literate, dedicated and flexible.
  • Significant experience in credit unions, data protection and risk management.
  • Educated to degree level in the field or similar/equivalent.

This position is a controlled function (CUPCF-3) within the Central Bank of Ireland’s fitness and probity regime.

Please submit your CV to :

killianconsulting@gmail.com OR 086 360 5565

Closing date for applications is Tuesday 18th May 2021

First Tech CU is an equal opportunities employer

First Tech CU is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland

Canvassing will disqualify.

Please contact me, Aidan Killian on  killianconsulting@gmail.com OR

 086 360 5565 for a copy of the Recruitment Privacy Notice if required.

 

Vacancy – Member Services Officer (MSO)

By Job Vacancy, News

We are now inviting applications for the position of Member Services Officer (MSO) for our Member Services Centre  (Ref MSO-MSC 2021)

Summary Objective of the Role:

Member First Credit Union (MFCU) is an innovative, progressive, modern financial services provider, with over 100,000 members.  We have multiple branches in Artane (D5), Ayrfield (D13), Marino (D9), Northside Shopping Centre (D17), Raheny (D5) Trinity Branch (D13) and Swords and we boast total assets of €376 million.  Our core value is to serve our members and the community, whilst striving to maintain the highest professional standards through innovation.  We embrace technology to enable members to transact easily with the credit union.

MFCU is now recruiting a Member Services Officer for our Member Services Centre. This is a unique opportunity to play a central role in meeting our members’ needs over the telephone.  Reporting to the MSC Branch Supervisor, you will be responsible for carrying out a range financial transactions and administrative tasks while at all times demonstrating consistent commitment to “The 3 Ps” of member service: Professional Service, Positive Experience and Personal Touch.

Key Responsibilities:

Demonstrate consistent commitment to and proficiency in “The 3 Ps” of MFCU member service in carrying out the following:  

  • Handling telephone, Chat Line, email, and online queries from current and prospective members
  • Protecting all member data in line with GDPR guidelines and MFCU ISO policy
  • Complying with all policies and procedures of the Credit Union, including Anti-Money Laundering and Fraudulent Transaction Reporting
  • Assisting new online members with registration and educating members in how to use the MFCU online Digital services.
  • Processing automatic member payments (debit cards; Realex; EFT’s; standing orders) and amending direct debits
  • Informing members of our products and services and liaising with colleagues regarding member requirements
  • Completing duties in other departments and branches as required by management.
  • Completing administrative, scanning or project related duties assigned to the role.
  • Representing the Credit Union at designated promotional events

The Successful Candidate Should have the Following Attributes:

  • Excellent telephone communication skills – a warm professional manner, empathy, listening and questioning skills and the ability to explain situations clearly to members who need our assistance.
  • A passion for helping members and for winning and retaining member loyalty.
  • A positive, patient, and respectful approach to handling queries and resolving problems.
  • Comprehensive product knowledge or evidence of the ability to quickly acquire knowledge.
  • An organised, accurate approach with exceptional attention to detail
  • Strong time management skills with the ability to multi-task/prioritise tasks effectively.
  • Self-motivation and the ability to work calmly and independently in a fast-paced team environment to achieve individual and team goals.
  • Flexibility and willingness to move between tasks, departments, and branches.

Experience and Qualifications:

  • Experience of working in a call centre environment – essential
  • Fluency in spoken and written English
  • Pass Leaving Certificate or equivalent
  • Strong competency in use of Microsoft Word, Excel, and email – essential
  • Achievement of APA Loans standard or equivalent (or evidence of working towards this qualification)
  • A minimum of one year’s experience of working in a credit union, bank, or financial services role and of using credit union or banking computer systems – highly desirable

Applicants should clearly state the position they are applying for by quoting the reference MSO-MSC 2021

Applications including CV, by email only, addressed to recruit@pinta.ie

The closing date for receipt of applications is Wednesday, 5th May 2021. 

 Shortlisting may apply and assessment will be made on the basis of the information provided in the application.

Member First Credit Union Ltd is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Consumers already switching to credit unions

By News

While the departure of Ulster Bank, the withdrawal of services by other banks, and now the possible departure of KBC will be upsetting for staff and customers at these entities and we sympathise with them, it is likely to be a positive milestone for credit unions.

Larger credit unions, most of which offer a comprehensive range of personal loans, SME loans and mortgages, current accounts, and excellent online facilities, have already experienced consumers switching from Ulster Bank. There is a trust issue between banks and some of their customers and while inertia has prevented many from leaving the banks, customers of these banks now need to make a decision as to who to bank with.

We believe the fact that more and more credit unions, working collaboratively, now have a full suite of products will play in their favour.  This coupled with their commitment to supporting local communities throughout the pandemic is why credit unions continue to see a strong growth in performance and have expanded their position as the ‘most trusted’ organisations in Ireland.

CUDA welcomes budget increases for home retrofit grants, but incentivising homeowners to use a combination of grants, loans and savings could be key to success of retrofits

By News

500,000 home retrofit target will not be reached unless the costs are affordable for average households, increases for SEAI grant schemes announced in todays budget are a very positive development but incentivising the use of surplus household savings may be an important piece of the puzzle

·         Credit Unions are best placed to become primary source of finance for nationwide retrofit project

·         A Government commitment for community schemes throughout Ireland will create thousands of jobs & reduce fuel poverty in households

The Credit Union Development Association [CUDA], that currently runs Ireland’s first end-to-end home retrofit scheme – ProEnergy Homes, has welcomed today’s budget announcement of an additional funding for SEAI grant schemes and the acknowledgement by Minister Eamon Ryan that this will be delivered primarily through community organisations like credit unions. This announcement is a major achievement for the SEAI and allows them to build on the work they have been doing over many years.

In 2019, 25 Credit Unions nationally piloted the ProEnergy Homes scheme. Under this approach, a national project management firm (REIL) was appointed to oversee all surveys and works, grant funding of 35% was available from SEAI for all qualifying works and low rate financing was made available for the balance of costs through the applicant’s local credit union.  CUDA reported at the time that public demand for the scheme was enormous, demonstrating people’s appetite for a ‘one-stop-shop’ model.

Following a review of the pilot scheme, CUDA determined that while the public demand for this model is high, in order to meet the Government’s target to retrofit 500,000 homes and bring them to a B2 energy rating by 2030, analysing the affordability of retrofit projects for the average household will be vital.  CUDA say in their experience of running ProEnergy Homes, the average costs per household run to approximately €30,000 – €40,000 to bring homes to B2 energy rating. The most popular measures undertaken in 2019 were external wall insulation, new glazing. Multi zone boiler controls also proved very popular.

SEAI grants will fund a generous 35% of the costs, but many homeowners will still be left with a bill of roughly €26,000 for their retrofit. While many credit unions will offer preferential finance rates for home retrofits (around 6.9% unsecured or 4.9% when backed by shares); financing retrofits over 5 years will see repayments of around €500 per month, which is still out of reach for many middle-income families.

One possible solution could be to incentivise homeowners to use some of their savings to lower the costs of financing the works. Central Bank data shows that Irish households have saved an additional €10bn this year alone with household savings now standing at record levels. Encouraging homeowners to use some of their savings, say by toping up any savings used in a fashion similar to the Help to Buy Scheme, would make home retrofits much more accessible for the average family.

For example, with costs of €40,000 to get a home to a B2 rating, grants will cover €14,000 leaving €26,000 to be covered by the homeowner. If they have managed to build up some additional savings that they can use, say €10,000 and were incentivised to use these with a 10% or €1,000 top up, the amount to be financed falls to €15,000. Financing this over 5 years would see monthly repayments of around €295 which is very typical of average home improvement loan repayments for Irish households.

Using some of the savings they have built up would allow a homeowner not only to retrofit their home and take advantage of all the benefits that brings in terms of ongoing savings for home heating, home comfort and health, but would also significantly reduce the cost of credit for the portion of the costs being financed. Making retrofits more affordable and accessible for middle income families also brings major benefits for the broader economy as greater uptake of energy retrofits has the potential to create thousands of jobs over the coming decade.

While the cross-Departmental Retrofit Taskforce will develop a new long-term national retrofit delivery model, CUDA believes that several measures should be put in place immediately and have communicated these to Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Eamon Ryan.

  1. Homeowners should be encouraged to use some of their savings toward the project rather than having to rely solely on credit.
  2. No group is better positioned than credit unions to support retrofitting plans in local communities across Ireland.
  3. There is a pressing need to develop a training programme for local tradespeople across the country so that more local workers would be able to carry on the necessary home improvements to the required standards for homeowners availing of schemes.
  4. The government should continue to fully support multi-annual grant budgets for the SEAI so that retrofitting schemes can operate unencumbered year-round.

Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA explained their position

While we are hugely supportive of the Minister in relation to the massive undertaking of retrofitting 500 thousand homes and commend the important announcement in the budget today, we believe that certain simple changes are necessary if the target is to be achieved. We have been engaging with the Minister in relation to these issues as we truly believe that the expansion of the ProEnergy Homes scheme will boost local communities at their time of need and have tangible and meaningful socio-economic benefits. Recent reports suggest retrofitting homes to bring them to a B2 energy rating standard or above, could significantly reduce fuel poverty*. It could also see the creation of 1000s of construction sector jobs if run efficiently and taken up on a large scale.

As the trusted provider of financial services in communities throughout Ireland, credit unions are uniquely positioned to support the delivery of a one-stop-shop model for home energy retrofits. We understand that for many households the past few months have been incredibly difficult and will unfortunately remain difficult for some time. However, some households have been in a fortunate position to build up savings this year and this is borne out in record savings inflows to credit unions since March. At a time when the interest rates and dividends available on these savings will be at or near zero, investing in a home retrofit could make a lot of sense. Combining some savings with a low rate loan will make the monthly repayments very affordable and there are many benefits; lower heating bills, a more comfortable home and the opportunity to support local tradespeople.

The announcement of the [Training\apprenticeship Programme] is an incredibly important initiative so that local tradespeople can be upskilled to complete works to the higher standards expected when retrofitting a residential house to B2 rating. As community organisations, credit unions are anxious to support local tradespeople, but too few have been trained to the standards expected on deep retrofits. Upskilling existing tradespeople nationally would allow for the creation of panels across the country that will support local economies while ensuring competition keeps prices and exchequer funding to a minimum.

Ends

*

Fuel Poverty is described as spending at least 10% of a household income on keeping a home warm

CUDA Welcomes Reduction in Levies

By News

CUDA welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Finance of reductions in the 2021 levies for both the Credit Institution Resolution Levy [down c6%] and the Credit Union Stabilisation Levy [down c90%].  In particular, we appreciate Minister Donohoe’s decision to heed our concerns in relation to the Stabilisation Fund levy.

While CUDA continues to support the purpose of a Stabilisation Fund, as it currently stands it has yet to be claimed against as it is both difficult and costly to access.  CUDA did propose that the target size of the Fund should now be regarded as succeeded and therefore the levy be set at 0%, and we requested the Minister to carry out a review of the Scheme to see how it might be improved.

We look forward to its criteria and status being included in the upcoming Review of the Policy Framework for Credit Unions under the Programme for Government.

CUDA meets with ICURN – International Credit Union Regulators’ Network

By Owner Members, Representation

The 2019 ICURN Peer Review of the Central Bank’s performance of its regulatory functions is currently underway. This review is assessing the legal, regulatory and prudential supervisory framework in place to fulfill the Central Bank’s responsibilities under Section 84 of the Credit Union Act, 1997 having regard to proportionality, nature, scale and complexity of credit unions operating in Ireland.

Read More

Credit unions will use a proportion of €9bn in lending capacity to reduce SME lending costs

By News

“Rapid growth in Credit Union lending expected to continue as Solution Centre rolls out enhanced Credit Union Business Model”

Responding to today’s launch of the Joint Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation’s Report entitled “ The Cost of doing Business ” and last week’s decision by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Finance, not to support the establishment of a new local public banking system, CUDA (Credit Union Development Association), the representative and lobby group for Ireland’s largest credit unions, said that its 48 strong network of the more progressive credit unions can fill this void and provide the much needed competition to the banks.

Speaking at the launch today, Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA, which is also behind the Solution Centre – a collaborative initiative that supplies product development and business supports to the Credit Union sector to enable them to lend to non-core sectors,

“We welcome the excellent work of both Joint Committees and their recognition that the cost of doing business, particularly the cost of borrowing needs be brought down, and that priority should be given to working with the existing framework provided by credit unions and An Post networks nationwide. Credit unions are already playing an increasing role in the Irish retail financial sector and CUDA anticipates working closely with the Central Bank of Ireland to expand the product and services that credit union branches throughout the country can offer individual and business members.

While having enjoyed strong lending growth in 2017, our 48 member credit unions are forecasting rapid growth in 2018 & 2019.”

CUDA say that it has taken a leadership role in lobbying for and developing the changes that are essential for credit unions to meet the demands of the current financial landscape. Through the Solution Centre, they have introduced new products, and implemented new processes and systems that will deliver the benefits that the advocates for public community banking are seeking.”

Mr. Johnson continued,

“Credit Unions have the lending capacity and are developing the expertise to take an enhanced role in relation to lending to SMEs. In tandem with the accompanying management and advisory support structures offered by the Solution Centre, numerous credit unions throughout the country could provide loans to SME’s, say up to €75,000.”

Mr. Johnson concluded,

“Credit unions can be at the financial heartbeat of our indigenous economy and can create a platform for rural revival, and indeed urban stimulation. With 268 credit unions and billions of euro currently available to lend, credit unions are very well positioned to deliver this service.”

Ends

 

Note to the Editor

The Solution Centre

A group of the country’s strongest credit unions established the Solutions Centre, a FinTech facilitated by CUDA, which supplies product development and business supports to the Credit Union sector and has embarked on an ambitious business transformation programme for the sector, of which mortgages is just one milestone.

Rather than simply replicating the actions of banks, the Solution Centre believes that credit unions have the flexibility and adaptability to quickly adopt new ways of doing business that will see a re-building of their market share. Credit Unions participating in our digital loan marketing programme have seen loan growth of 10-20% in a relatively short space of time, with minimal investment. It’s clear the movement’s leading credit unions have embarked on a transformative digital journey.

With 48 of the larger and more progressive credit unions, representing one third of credit unions members, coming together under the Solution Centre umbrella – we now have a structure to facilitate credit unions to achieve their goal of continuing as consumer-owned co-operatives, while delivering much needed new products and services to their members.

 

CUDA

CUDA, the Credit Union Development Association, was legally incorporated in 2003. In its early days it was the representative voice, on behalf of its owner member credit unions, with legislators and regulators. It has since evolved and now, as well as providing a ‘voice’, it is increasingly providing support facilities in the areas of regulatory compliance, risk management, shared services and competency development.

CUDA Welcomes CUAC Report

By News

 CUDA welcomes CUAC report

 Modernising Credit Union Lending rules will deliver real value in mortgages and personal loans

The representative body for Credit Unions CUDA has welcomed the publication of the CUAC report which reviewed the implementation of the recommendations in the Commission on Credit Unions.

Commenting on the findings, Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA, “The report highlights the long overdue need to review the current credit union lending limits. Modernising these will deliver better value for consumers in personal loans, mortgages and other financial services areas, something that the Government acknowledges is sorely missing in our economy.

We are also pleased to see our call has been listened to – we have long been advocating for a change in the outdated long-term lending limits to more accurately reflect consumer demands and the current financial environment”.

CUDA has also strongly campaigned for changes to be implemented that will allow Credit Unions to immediately provide funds for social and affordable housing, thereby helping to meet the serious supply problems facing prospective home buyers.

Kevin went on to explain, “Fundamentally, Credit Unions offering a full range of account and financial services, from personal loans to mortgages and savings to pensions, will drive greater competition. This will lead to lower cost products which can only be good for all consumers and which is all but absent from the market at the moment. We look forward to working with the proposed Implementation Group to make this a reality.”

The representative body say that an aspect of the report that struck them was that “the need for leadership at the centre and an understanding of the risks involved in longer-term lending were flagged by the Central Bank as areas of concern for credit unions seeking to move in this direction.”

Kevin commented, “This is something we are firmly behind and we have made great strides in this regard with the establishment of the “Solution Centre” which facilitates collaboration, innovation and business development”.

The Solution Centre, which is open to all credit unions, comprises a selection of the country’s strongest credit unions and is a hothouse unit developing specialist products, supports and solutions.

Kevin went on to say, “We have already delivered a number of projects that were drawn from the objectives of participating Credit Unions strategic plans. One of the first of these products will be supporting a mortgage offering which is expected to be available in August to participating credit unions representing approximately 25% of credit union members”.

CUDA says the report also correctly acknowledges the great work of all stakeholders which is resulting in ever strengthening Credit Unions.

Kevin concluded, “We thank the CUAC for the thoughtful consideration they have given to our proposals. Credit Unions continue to grow their market share of the consumer loan market and, now with strong capital, stronger governance and greater capabilities, they are fantastically positioned to broaden the range of services they offer to current and potential members”.