Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Credit Union Bill 2012: From the Seanad (Continued)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 786 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 73 Next Page Last Page

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes] The current wording provides for these appointments as functions of the manager. However, they are more appropriate to the board. The substantive change to the Bill before it was amended was that they related to the manager's functions, but we considered that they were more appropriate to the board. The deletion of subsections (4) and (5) is consequential on the acceptance of this amendment. These matters will be provided for in subsection (1)(e).

  Amendment No. 51 was discussed with amendment No. 39 to section 15, while amendment No. 52 was discussed with amendment 34 to the same section. The amendment deletes the famous paragraph (p) as it refers to the requirements set out in subsections (12) and (13) of section 53. As these subsections are being deleted, the famous paragraph (p) is no longer required. A number of consequential amendments arising from the changes made to the functions of the board of directors in amendment No. 50 are also made.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 51:

Section 17: In page 23, to delete lines 29 to 36 and substitute the following:
"(f) ensuring that there is an effective management team in place;".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 52:

Section 17: In page 25, to delete lines 16 to 18.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 53:

Section 17: In page 25, line 19, to delete “(q) the recommendation to” and substitute “(p) the recommendation to".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 54:

Section 17: In page 25, line 21, to delete "(r) ensuring the accounts" and substitute "(q) ensuring the accounts".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 55:

Section 17: In page 25, to delete lines 23 and 24 and substitute the following:
"(r) reporting to the members of the credit union at the annual general meeting, including nominating a member of the board to present the annual accounts at the annual general meeting;

(s) reviewing and considering any update of financial statements provided to the board by the manager under section 63A(4)(c).".

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes Amendment No. 55 allows the board to nominate a director to present the accounts to members at the AGM. This role was previously performed by the treasurer; however, as the position of treasurer is being removed, the amendment will maintain the reporting roles, but it will do so in a different way. It also provides that it is the role of the board to consider any update on financial statements provided for it by the manager and mirrors the provisions in section 63A(4)(c). The other amendments are minor technical amendments required to correct cross-references consequential on the amendments proposed.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 56:

Section 17: In page 25, to delete lines 35 to 42.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 57:

Section 17: In page 26, line 1, to delete "(6) The board of" and substitute "(4) The board of".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 58:

Section 17: In page 26, line 5, to delete "(7) The review carried" and substitute "(5) The review carried".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 59:

Section 17: In page 26, line 6, to delete "subsection (6)" and substitute "subsection (4)".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 60:

Section 17: In page 26, line 7, to delete "(8) In respect of" and substitute "(6) In respect of".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 61:

Section 17: In page 26, line 10, to delete "either".

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes The amendment deletes the word "either" from the sentence concerned as its inclusion is a typographical error.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 62:

Section 17: In page 26, line 14, to delete "(9) Where the board" and substitute "(7) Where the board".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 63:

Section 17: In page 26, line 17, to delete "(10) The board shall" and substitute "(8) The board shall".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 64:

Section 18: In page 27, line 26, to delete "3 consecutive terms" and substitute "4 consecutive terms".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 65:

Section 20: In page 30, lines 24 and 25, to delete "in respect of section 53(17)" and substitute "for the purposes of section 53(15)".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 66:

Section 20: In page 32, line 22, to delete "9 years" and substitute "12 years".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 67:

Section 21: In page 33, to delete lines 26 to 28.

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 68:

Section 21: In page 33, line 29, to delete "(e) appointing or causing" and substitute "(d) appointing or causing".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 69:

Section 21: In page 33, line 34, to delete "(f) preparing or causing" and substitute "(e) preparing or causing".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 70:

Section 21: In page 33, line 37, to delete "(g) implementing the proper" and substitute "(f) implementing the proper".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 71:

Section 21: In page 33, line 39, to delete "(h) ensure that all" and substitute "(g) ensure that all".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 72:

Section 21: In page 33, line 41, to delete "(i) such other matters" and substitute "(h) such other matters".

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 73:

Section 21: In page 33, to delete lines 43 to 48 and in page 34, to delete lines 1 to 14 and substitute the following:
"(5) In appointing a person as manager of a credit union, its board of directors shall ensure that the person complies with all legal requirements (including requirements which the Bank may prescribe) to be appointed."

  Seanad amendment agreed to.

  Seanad amendment No. 74:

Section 23: In page 35, to delete lines 8 to 46 and in page 36, to delete lines 1 to 8 and substitute the following:
“ “66.—(1) If the board oversight committee of a credit union considers that a member of the board of directors has taken any action or decision which, in the opinion of the committee, given in writing to the director concerned, is not in accordance with the requirements of this Part, then, after consulting the Bank, the committee may either—
(a) suspend, with immediate effect, the director by a unanimous vote of all the members of the committee taken at a meeting of the committee called for the purpose of considering the director’s suspension, or

(b) convene a special general meeting of the credit union to consider whether to remove the director in the light of the action or decision taken by that director, but no steps shall be taken under this subsection without the director concerned being given an opportunity to be heard by the members of the board oversight committee.
(2) Where a director of a credit union has been suspended by the board oversight committee in accordance with subsection (1), the board oversight committee shall, within 7 days of that suspension, convene a special general meeting—
(a) for the purpose of reviewing the suspension, and

(b) to consider whether to remove the director having regard to the action or decision taken by that director.
(3) Where the board oversight committee convenes a special general meeting for the purposes of this section the credit union may, by resolution of a majority of the members present and voting at that special general meeting—
(a) ratify the suspension of the director concerned and remove that director from office,

(b) rescind the suspension of that director, or

(c) remove that director from office,
but no director shall be so removed from office without being given an opportunity to be heard by the members present at the meeting.

(4) The secretary of the credit union shall, not less than 21 days before the date of the special general meeting at which it is proposed to move a resolution referred to in subsection (3), give written notice of that meeting to the director concerned.

(5) Where notice is given of an intended resolution to remove a director under this section and the director concerned makes in relation to it representations (not exceeding a reasonable length) in writing to the credit union and requests their notification to the members of the credit union then, unless the representations are received by it too late for it to do so, the credit union shall, subject to subsection (7)—
(a) in any notice of the resolution given to members of the credit union, state the fact of the representations having been made, and

(b) send a copy of the representations to every member of the credit union to whom notice of the meeting is sent.
(6) Subject to subsection (7), and whether or not copies of any representations made by it have been sent as mentioned in subsection (5), the director concerned may require that, without prejudice to his or her right to be heard orally, the representations made by him or her shall be read out at the special general meeting.

(7) Subsections (5) and (6) shall not apply if, on the application either of the credit union or of any person who claims to be aggrieved, the Bank is satisfied that compliance with the subsections would diminish substantially public confidence in the credit union or that the rights conferred by those sections are being, or are likely to be, abused in order to secure needless publicity for defamatory matter.

(8) Where a director of a credit union is removed from office at a special general meeting pursuant to this section, the vacancy caused by the removal shall be filled in such manner as may be determined by the meeting.".".

Deputy Brian Hayes: Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes The amendment sets out new provisions concerning the suspension and removal of directors of the board oversight committee. Issues arose during the debate in the Dáil about the procedure for the suspension and removal of directors, particularly in relation to the directors concerned being provided with written notification of the board oversight committee's reasons for taking action under this section. The Minister, on both Committee and Report Stages in this House, indicated his willingness to look again at these provisions and the amendment reflects the changes necessary in order to address the concerns raised by colleagues in the House. The amendment brings the procedure for the removal of a director at a special general meeting convened under this section into line with that for the removal of a director from office by members of a credit union which is set out in section 56 of the 1997 Act, thereby ensuring greater procedural consistency from one Act to the next. Under this section, the board oversight committee can suspend a director where it considers that a member has taken an action or decision which is not in accordance with Part IV of the 1997 Act.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett proposed an amendment on Committee Stage in the Dáil which was accepted by the Minister and provides that the board oversight committee is required to give written notice to the director setting out the reasons for its decisions before suspending the director or convening a special general meeting of the credit union to consider whether to remove the director. Where a director is suspended by the board oversight committee under this section, the suspension takes effect immediately and if that director does not resign within seven days of being suspended, the committee shall convene a special general meeting to review the suspension and consider whether to remove the director. At a special general meeting convened in accordance with this section the members may ratify the suspension, rescind it or remove the director from office. The amendment provides, in a similar manner to section 56 of the 1997 Act, that a director is entitled to written notice of a special general meeting to be held under this section not less than 21 days in advance of the meeting. The amendment also sets out the procedure for the director in question to make written representations in advance of a special general meeting and that the director has the right to be heard orally at such a meeting. The Minister is confident that the amendment addresses the concerns raised by Deputies in this House.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett I thank the Minister of State for accepting the amendment. It is regrettable that the constituent who raised the issue with me is not in the Visitors Gallery, as he has been here to follow some of the proceedings on the Bill. I will not say this has been a labour of love for him, but it has been an issue he has been pursuing for many years. He has specifically sought to have the word "written" inserted in the Bill. The amendment allows for a clear and transparent record to be given of the reasons provided by the board oversight committee for suspending a director of the board. It spells out the steps for proceeding with such a suspension and how the person proposed to be suspended can state his or her case. This is a good amendment and I commend the Government for taking it on board.

A person raised a related issue which probably does not come under the Bill. That person believes there is not an adequate procedure in place for individuals to make a case to the regulator where there is a dispute over the rights and wrongs of a suspension and that there is a need for the Central Bank to ensure there will be a fair procedure in place all the way up the line to allow individuals to appeal a decision in a case if they are unhappy at any stage of the process. That there is now a requirement for reasons to be given in writing will at least ensure a level of transparency about decisions that might be made in this regard.


Last Updated: 06/05/2020 11:58:19 First Page Previous Page Page of 73 Next Page Last Page