Credit unions push ahead with mergers
CREDIT unions are pushing forward with plans to merge ahead of pressure from regulators to force tie-ups across the movement, writes Charlie Weston.
Up to 100 of the country's 408 credit unions could eventually be merged with stronger ones, with at least 10 currently considering merging ahead of moves by regulators to force a restructuring.
Accounts for Carlow Credit Union show that it is among those considering coming together with neighbouring community lenders.
There are 407 credit unions in the State. Each one is owned and operated individually, with separate boards. Central Bank regulators are anxious to have fewer credit unions.
Regulator James O'Brien said recently that a "significant restructuring" would be necessary because of rising loan arrears.
He added: "The current credit union operational model is coming under increasing stress."