Registrar of Credit Unions address to Credit Union Development Association (CUDA)

28 January 2019 Press Release

Central Bank of Ireland

  • Financial health of the sector continues to highlight commercial challenges and the pressing need for business model development
  • In transitioning the business model, credit unions must continue to strengthen prudential foundations across governance, risk management and operational capability and uphold their member-centric ethos
  • The safe and sound restructuring of the sector since 2013 underpins the appropriateness of transfers as a strategic option for credit unions

Read the full speech

Registrar of Credit Unions, Patrick Casey addressed delegates at this weekend’s Credit Union Development Association annual conference in Wexford. In his comments, he highlighted the continued need for credit unions to strengthen core prudential foundations across governance, risk management and operational capability. He noted this will enable larger credit unions to engage in transfer activity as potential transferees and/ or undertake prudent business model development opportunities in line with their strategic aspirations, capabilities and risk appetite.

Mr. Casey referenced important sectoral developments, including the Central Bank’s ongoing consultation on proposed changes to the credit union lending framework, (Consultation Paper 125) including increased longer term lending capacity for larger stronger credit unions under a new regulatory approval process.

He noted a forthcoming Central Bank thematic report on credit union restructuring, and the material transformation of the sector through consolidation in recent years.

Concluding his remarks, Mr. Casey addressed the important role credit unions play in the Irish financial services landscape, while noting the challenges that rapid change and competition present with many credit unions, of all sizes, facing commercial challenges. He observed that operating within the same regulatory framework today, some credit unions are faring better than others at serving members’ lending needs.

Mr. Casey concluded by saying:

“For credit unions today, becoming a financial services provider of choice involves providing the range of products and services that members need, and having the competence and capability to deliver these sustainably. From a prudential perspective, we continue to emphasise the importance of having in place strong core foundations, in order to transition the business model on a safe and sound basis. 

The recognised trust and regard of members is a strong basis from which to grow new products and services. In transitioning, credit unions must retain the valued member-centric ethos they are recognised for.”