Sunday 11 December 2016

Management guru called in to radically revamp credit unions

Published 06/07/2015 | 02:30

Dr Eddie Molloy has been hired by the ILCU to drive reforms
Dr Eddie Molloy has been hired by the ILCU to drive reforms

The biggest credit union body in the country has drafted in a leading management guru to come up with a plan to radically reform it.

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Eddie Molloy, who has advised the likes of Intel, Guinness, Rehab and Ibec, has been asked to produce a plan to change how the Irish League of Credit Unions operates.

Dr Molloy, who also writes a weekly column in the Irish Independent, has been asked to start with a blank page and come up with recommendations for a strategic restructuring of the league by November.

The move has been initiated by new president of the Irish League of Credit Unions Brian McCrory, a teacher from Belfast who was elected in April on a platform of reform of the movement.

The league has 367 member credit unions in the Republic.

It is the largest representative body for credit unions, but also has a monitoring function over its members, offers services like insurance, and runs a rescue fund, the Savings Protection Fund.

Mergers

Credit unions are going through huge changes at the moment, with a spate of mergers expected to reduce the total number of them in the Republic by around 100 by the end of this year, and moves by up to 200 of them to be able to offer electronic payments by year's end.

The regulatory environment has also been tightened with more new rules on the way following a recent Central Bank consultation process.

Dr Molloy will be joined by 15 credit union representatives from around the country on a review committee.

He will hold seminars, conduct 'town hall' meetings and meet members on a one-to-one basis.

Credit union members will get to vote on the proposals at a special general meeting of the league in November.

Mr McCrory told the Irish Independent: "The league is like a house built in the 1950s. It is going to be demolished and rebuilt, with the input of members."

He said Dr Molloy had an impressive track record in large-scale organisation changes in Ireland and abroad.

He has worked with An Post, Bank of Ireland, Glanbia and Barnardos.

"He will be starting with a blank sheet. There will be no vested interests holding sway.

"This will be an honest attempt to come together to create a representative group that all credit union organisations will aspire to join," Mr McCrory said.

Credit unions hit the headlines in April when it emerged that a draft report into the league's rescue fund, the Saving Protection Fund, written by management consultants Mazars, found governance shortcomings.

Pressing

The board is pressing Mazars to produce a final report.

There is likely to be a move to have an internal audit of the Saving Protection Fund at least every two years, Mr McCrory said.

Meanwhile, acting chief executive of the league Ed Farrell has been appointed to the role.

He has worked with the league for 19 years, and was financial controller and deputy chief executive since 2007.

Irish Independent

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