Registrar of Credit Unions address to Credit Union Management Association

17 April 2018 Press Release

Central Bank of Ireland

  • Business model development must be underpinned by a clear strategy, risk understanding and strong core foundations in credit unions
  • Regulatory powers provide flexibility to facilitate those credit unions with the necessary strength and capabilities to develop new products and services
  • Creation of new CEO forum to support business model development

Read the full speech

Registrar of Credit Unions, Patrick Casey addresses today’s Credit Union Management Association Spring Conference on ‘Developing Business Models’ in Athlone.

In his comments to credit union CEOs and managers, Mr. Casey noted the commercial challenges facing the sector and highlighted the importance of credit unions having a clear strategy and understanding of risk appetite before undertaking business model transformation. He noted credit unions must take ownership of the development of their future business model, providing the products, services and delivery channels their members need and expect in the future, on a basis that is within their capabilities.

Mr. Casey highlighted how the Central Bank supports future sector sustainability through its:

  • supervisory proportionality designed to strengthen credit union core foundations to enable business model development and to address viability issues as early as possible;
  • earned flexibility approach, where strong credit unions with required governance, risk and operational capabilities, are facilitated to do more;
  • regulatory responsiveness which can ensure the credit union framework remains tailored and proportionate, and that it continues to evolve in a responsive manner to support business model development – as evidenced for example by recent changes to facilitate investment by credit unions in social housing.

He announced the creation of a new CEO Forum to engage with credit union managers on issues relating to business model and balance sheet transformation, with a priority on those issues that would have broader sectoral relevance. He concluded by saying:

“Credit unions have many advantages from which to evolve your business model, not least the strength of your brand and the strong trust of your members. It is important that there is a coherent vision and strategy to deliver on your potential in the interests of your members and in recognition of your central role in the Irish financial system.

Credit unions must continue to strengthen core foundations by addressing key risk vulnerabilities through necessary changes. As owners of your business model, you need to develop and innovate to overcome the significant commercial challenges you continue to face.”