Sunday 18 February 2018

Former manager of liquidated Credit Union barred from management role in any finance firm

Rush Credit Union where financial irregularities were unearthed. Photo: Mark Condren
Rush Credit Union where financial irregularities were unearthed. Photo: Mark Condren
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

THE former manager of the liquidated Rush Credit Union has been prohibited from carrying out any management functions in any financial services firms.

The Central Bank issued the notice to Anne Butterly. She has been banned for an indefinite period.

The prohibition arises from a Central Bank investigation into Ms Butterly’s involvement in unauthorised transactions on accounts at Rush Credit Union.

It comes after the credit union was placed into liquidation when an order was obtained by the Central Bank from the High Court.

Anne Butterly
Anne Butterly

In November Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted an application to appoint liquidators to the failed lender.

Among the issued the High Court was told about were car draws where the cars where no winners were announced. Some €221,000 was spent on vehicles between 2009 and 2016, the court was told.

And there were allegations that money was taken out of customer accounts without their consent.

Head of enforcement investigations in the Central Bank Brenda O’Neill said it had conducted a probe into Ms Butterly.

“In 2016, financial irregularities were identified at Rush Credit Union which contributed to it being placed into liquidation.

“As a result of the identification of these irregularities, the Central Bank’s enforcement division commenced investigations into various individuals including Ms Butterly. The investigation into Ms Butterly has now concluded with the issue of a prohibition order of indefinite duration, which is the most serious possible outcome to a fitness and probity investigation.”

Ms O’Neill said the outcome of the Central Bank probe shows its regulatory reach extends to individuals, and not just to firms.

“We take individual accountability very seriously and this case demonstrates our resolve to act where an individual’s conduct falls below expected standards.”

She said the Central Bank’s fitness and probity regime was introduced to strengthen its enforcement powers against individuals in all parts of the financial services industry, including those working in the credit union sector.

Persons involved in managing or overseeing credit unions, whether paid or voluntary, must adhere to the regulatory requirements of the role, she added.

The case against Ms Butterly is now closed. Other related investigations are ongoing, the Central Bank said.

The allegations of fraud at the former Rush Credit Union have been reported to gardaí.

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