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New rules curb lending at Donegal credit unions 04.02.14

A SENATOR has hit out at new rules that will see lending curbed at up to 14 credit unions in Donegal.
Senator Rónán Mullen said he was "deeply concerned" at how the Central Bank is approaching its role in overseeing credit unions.
"Last year we saw the late-night takeover of Newbridge Credit Union by the State-owned Permanent TSB, and just last week we heard the news that the Central Bank has ordered a limit to lending in close to 200 credit unions, including up to 14 in Donegal," he said.
He said the community credit system was an "integral part of Irish life and our communities".
"Ireland has over three million credit union members; this is by far the highest number in the European Union. Credit Unions are a unique part of Irish life and our communities. They are owned and operated by the community, unlike profit-making banks which are shareholder owned.
"What Central Bank officials don’t seem to realise is that many people regularly turn to their local credit union for crucial support. It is distressing to discover that older people are being refused loans for cars, parents being refused short-term loans to defray family costs and some people being denied loans to cover funeral costs. This undermines the community credit system entirely. I am sure that bank bosses are delighted that the Central Bank is using such a blunt instrument to restrict lending," added Senator Mullen.
He said he would be calling on the Central Bank and Minister for Finance to draw up a new code of consultation and conduct for dealing with the local financial institutions.
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