The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Wednesday) hosted a credit union event in the Department of Finance. The purpose of the event was to bring together different credit union stakeholders to discuss recent and upcoming developments in the sector, as well as future opportunities and challenges facing the movement.
The event was attended by the members of the Credit Union Advisory Committee (CUAC), the Credit Union Representative Bodies, the Registrar and Deputy Registrar of Credit Unions, some local Credit Unions as well as other credit union stakeholders.
The event, which was opened by Minister Donohoe, included a presentation from the Chair of the CUAC on their work plan for the coming year, as well as a presentation from the Department of Finance’s Head of Credit Union Policy, Brian Corr, as chair of the CUAC Report Implementation Group.
The Event was closed by Mark Quigley, Senior Manager, Financial Services in Accenture where he presented on the Future of Finance and the evolving retail financial services landscape.
Opening the Event, Minister Donohoe reiterated the Government’s support for the credit union movement, and recognised the important role it plays in society. The Minister spoke of the inspiring origins of the movement, the significant change undergone by the sector in the last 10 years, the importance of collaboration and the challenges and opportunities now facing credit unions. He also noted that credit unions could and should do more in terms of community lending and Personal Micro Credit.
Concluding the Minister said: ‘The challenges facing the credit union sector are very real, but so too are the strengths of the movement. Credit unions have the capacity to help communities all over the country. The Government supports the valuable role of credit unions in Ireland, and believes the sector can play an even greater role in our communities. With such strong foundations, coupled with the enterprise and ethos characteristic of the early pioneers of the movement, I believe credit unions have a bright future and will continue the successes of the last 60 years’.
Credit Union Advisory Committee
The Credit Union Advisory Committee is a statutory Committee whose function is to advise the Minister for Finance regarding:
- The improvement of the management of credit unions;
- The protection of the interests of members and creditors of credit unions; and
- Other matters relating to credit unions upon which the Minister, the Central Bank or such other persons as may be specified by the Minister may from time to time seek the advice of the Committee.
The CUAC meets on a monthly basis in the Department, with the Department providing secretariat. It regularly invites credit union stakeholders to meetings to share their views on various topics.
The CUAC published its work plan on the 6th February 2019.
CUAC Report Implementation Group
The CUAC Report Implementation Group was established on foot of the CUAC Review of the Recommendations in the Commission on Credit Unions Report in order to oversee and implement the CUAC’s recommendations. The Implementation Group was chaired by the Department and consisted of one member from each of the credit union representative bodies – the Irish League of Credit Unions, the Credit Union Development Association, the Credit Union Managers’ Association, and the National Supervisors Forum – along with one member from the CUAC and a member from the Central Bank. The Implementation Group published its Final Report on the 7th January 2019.