Derry Credit Union pays out over £1m in dividends, interest rebates

DERRY Credit Union continues to celebrate financial success despite the current uncertain economic times, the membership was informed during the recent annual general meeting.

Commenting in St. Mary's College, the Credit Union's external auditor, Mr. John Bradley, praised the work of the Board of Directors when confirming impressive financial figures for the past year.

The largest credit union in N. Ireland, Derry Credit Union currently boasts a membership of 35,339 adults and 5,107 minor savers, and it continues to grow with assets now reaching £114 million.

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Mr Bradley heaped praise on credit union’s committed staff for having opted to remain open during challenging periods such as Brexit, Covid-19 and the current cost-of-living crisis. He also praised the credit union’s membership which remains steadfastly loyal to the local organisation.

Derry Credit Union Board of Directors. Seated left to right are newly elected Treasurer Carmel Bradley, outgoing President Sean Hegarty, Secretary Patricia Doherty, and newly elected President Colm McCauley. Standing left to right are Directors Leo Simpson, Arthur Duffy, Laurence Arbuckle, Brigid McCarron, Jennifer Turner and CEO Joan Gallagher. Not pictured, Vice President Delma Boggs and Director Rosemary O’Doherty.

Members approved the proposed dividend of 0.4% and interest rate rebate on applicable loans of 25%. This amounts to more than £1 million in dividends and interest rebates now available to members.

In the Board of Directors report, delivered by Board Secretary Patricia Doherty, members were told that the merger with Claudy Credit Union was successfully completed in November 2021, and that Derry Credit Union’s first sub-office opened on Main Street, Claudy, in December.

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The meeting concluded with the Board of Directors thanking the membership for their continued use of Derry Credit Union.

They also urged them to spread the word on the benefits of membership to those who had not yet joined.

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Colm McCauley, President of Derry Credit Union.

A cash prize draw followed the conclusion of business with 26 members winning prizes from £100 to £500.

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Election of President

Meanwhile, during the credit union’s Organisation Meeting which took place after the AGM, Colm McCauley was elected President by his fellow directors.

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Taking up his new role, the new president paid tribute to outgoing president Sean Hegarty for his leadership, direction and professionalism throughout his

three-year tenure.

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Colm McCauley was born and raised in Aranmore Avenue, Creggan Estate, and was one of ten children. He witnessed first-hand severe poverty, large-scale unemployment, the impact of social injustices and a lack of access to affordable credit facilities within the community in which he lived – the very circumstances which prompted the establishment of Derry Credit Union.

Colm attended Holy Child Infant School and Long Tower Primary School and St. Columb’s College. He secured an honours degree at university and is a qualified accountant with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

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Now retired following a long career in public sector finance, he was co-opted onto the Board of Derry Credit Union in 2016. Since then he has filled the roles of Derry Credit Union’s Treasurer for the past four years, chair of the credit union’s Finance and Nomination Committee and membership of the credit union’s Audit and Executive Committees.

Colm holds the view that Derry Credit Union remains a vital asset for the local community, providing members with affordable loan products. In addition, Derry Credit Union provides insurance benefits such as savings cover, loan cover and death benefit cover, and is also a place where savings play an important part supporting everyday life.

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Colm is an ardent supporter of the credit union’s application to seek approval to provide mortgages in order to remain competitive with other financial institutions and explains that such new services can be undertaken because Derry Credit Union is in a very stable financial position to move forward strategically.

In the role of President, he is looking forward to continuing the excellent achievements to date.

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Colm paid tribute to the Credit Union’s dedicated workforce and members and he acknowledged the continuing tremendous support for Derry Credit Union from the local community.