independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

No date for return of Newbridge to members' control

THERE is no timeframe for returning the running of Newbridge Credit Union to its 40,000 members, the Central Bank said yesterday as Finance Minister Michael Noonan announced that new legislation governing all credit unions had been signed into law.

A special manager was appointed by the courts to run Newbridge Credit Union last January, and this week the arrangement was extended for another six months.

The Central Bank got a High Court order appointing a special manager to the Kildare credit union, which is one of the largest community credit unions in the country.

It was the first time the regulators used new legislation to take control at a credit union. Under the Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011, the bank has extensive powers to take over financial institutions.

Special manager Luke Charleton, from Ernst & Young, will now be in place at least until next summer.

Yesterday a spokesman for the Central Bank said it was not clear when the special manager would be removed and the credit union put back into the hands of its members.

In a statement the Central Bank and the minister noted that the credit union would normally hold its annual general meeting at this time of year, and decide on a dividend.

"The Central Bank has discussed with the special manager the question of the AGM and the Central Bank does not consider that it is appropriate for an AGM to be held at this time," a statement from the minister said.

Meanwhile, the passing into law of the new Credit Union Act 2012 will pave the way for €250m of taxpayers' money to be used to bail out weak credit unions.

The new act will facilitate the large-scale merger of credit unions, with financially weak ones being taken over by stronger ones.

Mr Noonan said there had been a number of changes to the bill when it was passing through the Oireachtas.

Irish Independent

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