Credit Union Handbook

1. Purpose of the Credit Union Handbook

In order to assist credit unions in the implementation of the strengthened regulatory framework (see Section 4 below) the Central Bank has developed a Credit Union Handbook ("the Handbook"). The purpose of the Handbook is to assist credit unions by bringing together in one place a number of legal and regulatory requirements and guidance that apply to credit unions, arising from their authorisation as credit unions.

The scope of the Handbook includes:

  • The Fitness and Probity regime for credit unions
  • New governance and prudential requirements for credit unions inserted into the Credit Union Act, 1997 ("the 1997 Act") by the Credit Union and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012 ("the 2012 Act");
  • Existing requirements applying to credit unions contained in the1997 Act
  • The Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) Regulations 2016 ("the Regulations")
  • Other requirements that apply to credit unions arising out of their authorisation as credit unions such as consumer protection, anti-money laundering requirements and the EBA Guidelines on the Security of Internet Payments.

2. Regulations

In December 2019, the Central Bank published the Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (the 2019 Regulations). The 2019 Regulations amend the Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) Regulations 2016 (the 2016 Regulations). The 2019 Regulations are effective from 1 January 2020.

Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 S.I. 642 of 2019

A Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) which provides answers to questions relating to implementation of the 2019 Regulations is available at the below link.

Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 FAQ

The 2016 Regulations were previously amended by the Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (the 2018 Regulations). The 2018 Regulations are effective from 1 March 2018.

Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

A Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) which provides answers to questions relating to implementation of the 2018 Regulations is available at the below link.

Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 FAQ | pdf 933 KB

On 1 January 2016, the remaining sections of the 2012 Act and the Regulations commenced. These Regulations, combined with the commencement of the remaining sections of the 2012 Act and the prudential and governance requirements already in place, provide an appropriate regulatory framework for the credit union sector at this time.

Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) Regulations 2016

A Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) which provides answers to questions relating to implementation of the Regulations is available at the below link.

Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) Regulations 2016 FAQ | pdf 992 KB

For ease of reference, the Central Bank of Ireland has prepared an unofficial consolidated version of the 2016 Regulation, as amended by the 2018 Regulations and the 2019 Regulations. Please note that this is not a legal document.

Unofficial Consolidated Version of the Credit Union Regulations | pdf 300 KB

3. Handbook Chapters

The Handbook contains the Chapters set out below. The Introduction Chapter sets out details on the structure, contents and operation of the Handbook.

  1. Introduction
  2. Glossary
  3. Legal Definitions
  4. Accounts and Audit
  5. Additional Services
  6. Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism
  7. Borrowing
  8. Consumer Protection
  9. Fitness and Probity
  10. Governance
  11. Internal Audit
  12. Investments
  13. Lending
    1. Provisioning Guidelines for Credit Unions
  14. Liquidity
  15. Operational Risk
  16. Outsourcing
  17. Reserves
  18. Risk Management and Compliance
  19. Savings
  20. Strategic Plan
  21. Transfers of Engagements and Amalgamations

Appendix 1: Documentation required to be maintained pursuant to the 1997 Act

Appendix 2: Enforcement

Appendix 3: Appeals under the 1997 Ac

CU Handbook – Full Handbook | pdf 8031 KB

To navigate to a particular chapter in this version "click" on the Chapter name on the contents page.

A Frequently Asked Questions document provides answers to questions relating to the implementation of the new governance and prudential requirements.

4. Updates made to the Credit Union Handbook

The Handbook was originally published in 2013. Since then, updates to individual chapters have been made periodically to update legislative/regulatory requirements and/or to provide additional guidance.

Handbook Chapters Last Updated | pdf 85 KB