Monday 26 September 2016

Credit union regulator told to improve communications

Published 10/09/2015 | 02:30

The Central Bank in Dublin
The Central Bank in Dublin

The Central Bank has been told to communicate better with credit unions.

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A peer review of the work of the Registry of Credit Unions, which is part of the Central Bank, also said more on-site inspections of smaller credit unions were needed.

The external review of the Central Bank's regulation and supervision of credit unions generally found the regulators effectively perform their functions.

But the review said the registrar needs to develop an action plan to enhance current practices in the areas of communications and supervision.

It was recommended that regulators engage more with individual credit unions on site. The review was called out by experts from around the world on credit union supervision, and called the International Credit Union Regulators' Network (ICURN).

Registrar of Credit Unions Anne-Marie McKiernan welcomed results of the peer review.

"We welcome the ICURN team's assessment that the Central Bank effectively performs its functions in the regulation and supervision of the credit union sector and that we have effectively undertaken the demanding task of introducing a comprehensive regulatory structure for credit unions."

She said the Central Bank recognises the importance and benefits of an external review of its regulatory performance in relation to credit unions. "We welcome the suggestions of the ICURN team in relation to enhancing our performance as an effective regulator, Ms McKiernan added.

"We are developing an action plan to enhance our current practices in the areas referred to in the ICURN team's recommendations, including communications and guidance issues, and aspects of our supervisory approach," she added.

She said regulators were conscious of the need for clear communication in a time of substantial change for the credit union sector.

Talks with credit unions on developing their business models are due to take place later this year.

There are around 350 active credit unions in the State.

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