Credit unions to expand services
A number of credit unions have come together in a bid to design new products to expand the services offered by the member-owned lenders.
The setting up of the Solutions Centre is based on a successful model used in Canada.
The intention is to come up with new financial products for consumers in areas including investments, pensions, mortgages, and financial protection.
The initial credit unions involved are: St Jarlath's in Galway; St Anthony's and Claddagh, Galway; Tullamore, Co Offaly; Dundalk, Co Louth; Dundrum, Co Dublin; E-Services; Naas, Co Kildare; and Affinity in Cashel, Co Tipperary. Membership of these eight credit unions is understood to total around 250,000 people.
The Solutions Centre will not get involved in a lobby or being a representative body, roles already fulfilled by the Irish League of Credit Unions and the Credit Union Development Association (CUDA).
Chief executive of CUDA, Kevin Johnson, is also heading up the Solutions Centre, although the two bodies are separate.
The aim is to maximise the products and services that credit unions can offer within the existing legislation and regulatory rules.
The new body is seeking a programme manager to run its projects.