Bailing out the credit unions
Published 15/10/2011 | 09:07
The news that some credit union loans, over a sixth of the total, are now in arrears confirms widely held fears that all is not well with the "poor man's bank".
With 27 credit unions categorised as "seriously" under-capitalised and the Government planning to inject up to €1bn of fresh capital, it is crucial that the hole in their balance sheets is plugged as soon as possible.
First the good news. There are more than 400 credit unions in the State. Of these, more than 300 comfortably meet the Financial Regulator's new requirement that they must hold reserves equivalent to at least 10pc of their loans.