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Credit Unions Regulation

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Credit Unions Regulation

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Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)

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Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)

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Snippet Contents:

My role as Minister for Finance is to ensure that the legal framework for credit unions is appropriate for the effective operation and supervision of credit unions.
Credit unions are regulated and supervised by the Registrar of Credit Unions at the Central Bank who is the independent regulator for credit unions.  Within her independent regulatory discretion, the Registrar acts to support the prudential soundness of individual credit unions, to maintain sector stability and to protect the savings of credit union members.
While it is important to distinguish this division of roles, it is equally important to recognise that both the Registrar of Credit Unions and I, as Minister for Finance, are working together for the safety of members' savings and the security of the credit union sector.
A maximum individual member's savings limit of €100,000 is being introduced by the Registrar to ensure the protection of members' savings and to continue to ensure that credit unions' funding is sufficiently diversified and is not dependent on a small number of members.
I am very much aware of all of the issues raised by the credit union sector in respect of the implementation of the new regulations. Both myself and my officials met with the three credit union representative bodies to discuss these concerns. Meetings were also held with the Central Bank where the views of the credit union movement were considered. Following careful consideration I have been informed by the Central Bank that a number of modifications were agreed regarding the €100,000 cap on credit union savings as follows:
- Credit unions that hold individual members' savings in excess of €100,000 at commencement of the regulations may apply for approval to the Central Bank to retain these savings, subject to certain criteria. 
- Regulation 37 now provides that certain credit unions may apply for approval to increase individual members' savings in excess of €100,000. Credit unions with a minimum asset size of €100 million may be granted approval to increase individual members' savings in excess of €100,000 where they have demonstrated to the Central Bank that it is appropriate for them to do so.
I have been informed by the Central Bank that the application process will be updated to reflect these changes and that credit union bodies have been advised that the Central Bank will communicate with them on the matter in early 2016.
I welcome the steps that have been taken to provide clarity for credit unions on the criteria for retaining savings of over €100,000 and I also welcome the Central Bank proposed engagement with the representative bodies to seek their comments on the application process.