Major overhaul of Credit Unions will see reduction in branches

STRESS tests being carried out on the country’s 410 Credit Unions are expected to lead to a substantial reduction in the number of branches nationally by the end of 2011.

STRESS tests being carried out on the country’s 410 Credit Unions are expected to lead to a substantial reduction in the number of branches nationally by the end of 2011.

STRESS tests being carried out on the country’s 410 Credit Unions are expected to lead to a substantial reduction in the number of branches nationally by the end of 2011.

By Leonie McKiernan

According to national media sources a major overhaul of Ireland’s Credit Unions is set to begin in the coming months. It is expected that stress test results will show that at least 80 of the country’s Credit Unions are in serious financial difficulty although it is worth noting that all savings deposits in Credit Unions are covered by State guarantee and so all funds are safe.

Experts are now predicting that more than half of all Credit Unions nationally may be amalgamated with some sources even stating they expect the first 80 branches to be closed by the end of the year.

At present there are eight credit union branches in the local area including Annaduff, Ballinamore, Carrick-on-Shannon, Drumshanbo, Drumkeerin, Manorhamilton, Mohill and Kilronan-Drumboylan.

“Given the expected adverse stress test results and the challenges facing 400 plus individual Credit Unions to operate, compete and be regulated in the wider financial sector, it is likely that there will be a major amalgamation of Credit Unions into fewer and larger entities - one possible method to do this is on a countywide basis” said Colm O’Grady, Credit Union Specialist with Russell Brennan Keane, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.