Sunday 28 December 2014

Host of other lenders have been dogged by difficulties

Published 24/07/2014 | 02:30

Majella O Hanlon from Newbridge, pictured outside Newbridge Credit Union . Majella's Father was one of the founders of Newbridge Credit union.
Pic Frank Mc Grath
Newbridge Credit Union

BEREHAVEN is just the latest in a number of credit unions to get into severe difficulty in recent years.

Last year Newbridge Credit Union in Co Kildare had its operations transferred into Permanent TSB bank, at a cost of €54m to the Exchequer.

Member accounts were transferred to the bank in a move which ensured savings were protected.

The Central Bank had been seeking to address financial and governance issues at the credit union since 2008 and a special manager was appointed to it in 2012.

There had been plans to merge it with Naas Credit Union, but these proposals were rejected by Naas.

The Central Bank said that had the move to Permanent TSB not taken place, the only alternative would have been a full-scale liquidation.

Collapse

Earlier this year Howth and Sutton Credit Union was merged into North County Dublin's Progressive Credit Union, which has its head office in Balbriggan, following a direction from the High Court.

In this case, loan arrears were not to blame for the merger.

Instead the collapse in the value of offices built during the property boom was blamed for the forced merger.

The offices, on Howth's main street, cost €3.5m to build in 2008, but their value was written down heavily in the books of the credit union, prompting its reserves to collapse.

As of September 30, 2013, the value of the new premises was €600,000.

It merged with Progressive, which itself was only created before Christmas, when credit unions in Balbriggan, Skerries and Donabate agreed to a voluntary merger.

Irish Independent

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