Sunday 28 December 2014

Credit Union League had worked closely with bust lender

Published 24/07/2014 | 02:30

Martin Sisk
Martin Sisk
The offices of Berehaven Credit Union, Main Street, Castletownbere, West Cork.

THE president and other senior officers of the Irish League of Credit Unions have been closely engaged with bust Berehaven Credit Union for a number of years.

Asked about reports that president of the league Martin Sisk has been attending board meetings at the credit union for two years, a spokeswoman said a number of league personnel have been involved with the wound-up credit union.

The league, which is a representative body for most credit unions, was asked why Berehaven ended up having liquidators appointed by the High Court when it was aware of the problems at the Cork lender.

The league supervises a multi-million rescue fund for troubled credit unions called the Special Protection Scheme (SPS) fund.

Asked about Mr Sisk attending the bust credit union's meetings for two years, a league spokeswoman said: "A number of league personnel have been engaged with Berehaven Credit Union and the Central Bank to facilitate a transfer of engagements which would have been facilitated by the (existing) Irish League of Credit Union SPS funds.

"The league have been fully engaged on an ongoing basis with the credit union and the Central Bank on this issue.

"Every effort was made to bring about a transfer of engagements, but these efforts did not come to fruition unfortunately."

Asked why the league did not support Berehaven through the SPS, she said the league had been committed to plans to transfer its accounts to another credit union, which has now been abandoned.

This is understood to have been Bantry Credit Union.

"The league was committed to the proposed transfer of engagement process and did allocate funding from the SPS fund to facilitate the transfer of engagements to another credit union," said the spokeswoman.

"These SPS funds were lodged to an account in the NTMA (National Treasury Management Agency) for this purpose.

"SPS funds have been used successfully to facilitate other transfers of engagements in the past."

However, the Central Bank is understood to have decided against allowing the transfer of Berehaven's operations to Bantry Credit Union.

Irish Independent

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