Local credit unions ‘100% safe’

As Credit Unions nationally hit the headlines yesterday, the treasurer of a local credit union told the ‘Journal’ their savings were 100% guaranteed and safe in their local credit union.

Brian Barr, Treasurer of Foyle Credit Union Limited in Moville and Muff said that rumours in the media were mostly unfounded and not based on the facts locally.

Independent analysis presented by the world’s largest insurer of credit unions, CUNA Mutual, showed significant assets within Irish credit unions but also points to the need for a change in structures including mergers between unions.

Earlier this month the Registrar of credit unions identified ‘high risk’ credit unions which were in danger of collapse because of their level of loan losses. CUNA Mutual accepts that up to 20% of the 410 credit unions fall into that category.

Members deposits are covered by the Government guarantee scheme. But to ensure the Credit Union Movement can overcome the weakness within some of its membership CUNA suggests a series of reforms are necessary.

Mr Barr urged the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) to begin a campaign to counteract the bad media coverage which could only serve to undermine members’ life savings.

“If any individual Credit Union was experiencing difficulty then the ILCU was there for the mutual benefit of all.

“Whilst the banking sector in Ireland was brought to its knees by greedy speculators and developers the Credit Union movement remain steadfast in encouraging members to save and take loans within their individual capability to repay.”