Commenting on Ulster bank’s rumoured exit, Kevin Johnson CEO of CUDA said,
Consumers are going to be badly hit if Ulster Bank does exit the market; unlike other countries such as Canada and the USA, Irish consumers have been over-dependent on a couple of large national banks and as a country, we have traditionally underutilised local banking and credit options.
The level of development by Credit Union in recent years might surprise many. 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. While well known for their range of personal loans, most now offer current accounts, business lending, mortgages, Agri-loans, home, life and travel insurances, with a growing number offering Ireland’s only end-to-end home retro-fitting package. 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, CUDA on behalf of its owner credit unions, is currently in seeking the Minister for Finance to amend legislation so that allow credit unions can co-lend on larger property related and commercial loans.
While much of the business of any departing bank may end up with the two largest banks, credit unions are now well positioned to step in and fill much of the credit void left behind.