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Credit Union Restructuring Board (Dissolution) Bill 2019

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Credit Union Restructuring Board (Dissolution) Bill 2019\Second Stage
Bills\Credit Union Restructuring Board (Dissolution) Bill 2019\Second Stage

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Credit Union Restructuring Board (Dissolution) Bill 2019

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Deputy Michael McGrath

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Michael McGrath

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Snippet Contents:

I welcome the opportunity to make a contribution on the Bill. Fianna Fáil will support the legislation. I acknowledge the good work the restructuring board did in the period from 2013 to 2017, which was quite a challenging period for many credit unions. The fact ReBo facilitated 82 restructuring projects involving 156 credit unions in 24 counties on a voluntary basis was, undoubtedly, a significant achievement. Total assets involved were approximately €6 billion. To achieve this level of restructuring on a voluntary and agreed basis among the credit unions was a notable achievement. It has resulted in significant changes to the landscape within which credit unions operate. There has been a reduction of one third in the number of credit unions, although it should be pointed out this is not a reduction in one third of the number of credit union buildings because while a number of them have amalgamated a credit union may have two or three branches and they are now counted as one credit union.
This was an important initiative designed to help and protect the movement and secure its future. The reality is that post the financial crisis the nature and complexity of the regulation being applied to the credit union movement necessitated a certain scale because regulation is now quite costly and compliance requirements must be adhered to. There are necessary costs that have been incurred as a result, which is why having a certain scale in the credit union movement was important and which is why these restructures and amalgamations had to proceed.
It has to be highlighted that while the initial fund was €250 million, as the Minister of State pointed out, the amount spent from the fund was approximately €20 million. The Oireachtas Library and Research Service has given us a very useful paper on the Bill. ReBo paid a total of €17 million in financial assistance from the credit union fund regarding qualifying costs pertaining to credit union restructuring projects. In total, approximately €20 million was utilised from a fund of €250 million. I assume the balance is the operational costs that ReBo had to incur. It needs to be said that back in 2011 the then Minister for Finance said in the Seanad the total cost of rescuing the credit union sector could be up to €1 billion.