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