Rescue fund comes to aid of struggling credit union to facilitate merger
Two Mayo credit unions have merged with financial support provided by the rescue fund operated by the League of Credit Unions.
Castlebar and Ballyhaunis credit unions are expected to finalise a tie-up by May. It is the second time in weeks that two west of Ireland credit unions have combined with funding provided by the League's savings protection scheme (SPS).
It is understood financial reserves of Ballyhaunis were below Central Bank requirements after it recently had a valuation done on offices it built during the property boom.
It needed between €1.5m and €2m from the SPS fund to bring its reserves up to the level required by the Central Bank, sources in the movement said.
And it was announced yesterday that Rathfarnham and Templeogue credit unions, in Dublin, merged to form a new unit with €80m in assets and a combined membership of 20,000.
When the latest mergers are complete, it will mean 32 credit unions will have come together in the last year to form 13 larger entities.
This means the total number of credit unions will have come down from 400, at the start of 2013, to around 370 in total.
Manager of Ballyhaunis Credit Union, Mary Henry, said the merger was good news for the members of both bodies, as it would mean lower loan rates and gives access to electronic payments for Ballyhaunis members. The combination was facilitated by the State's Credit Union Restructuring Board (ReBo).
Last month, the rescue fund controlled by credit unions was being used to support the takeover of a Galway city credit union by another credit union in the same city.