Thursday 13 December 2018

Central Bank ban for former manager of bust credit union

Rush Credit Union
Rush Credit Union
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

The former manager of bust Rush Credit Union has been prohibited from carrying out any management functions in any financial services firm.

The Central Bank issued the notice to Anne Butterly, banning her 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.

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

Among the issues the High Court was told about were that there were 15 cars raffled but the winners could not be located. Some €221,000 was spent on vehicles between 2009 and 2016, the court was told.

Anne Butterly, former manager of Rush Credit Union, who has been banned from carrying out certain management duties
Anne Butterly, former manager of Rush Credit Union, who has been banned from carrying out certain management duties

There were also allegations that money was taken out of customer accounts without their consent.

The bust north County Dublin lender owed €2m more than its assets were worth.

A report by the Central Bank into the credit union, presented to the High Court, described it as "a failing institution with poor governance and systems and control issues that it has failed to resolve over many years".

The report also found that there was "a substantial purported misappropriation and issues regarding the management of the car draw".

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," she said.

"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."

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.

Ms Butterly is the third person to be banned from holding a position of responsibility in a finance firm in recent times.

Former director of a brokerage firm and Tipperary hurler Darren Gleeson was banned in May last year, while former insurance broker Collette Murphy of Roundwood, Co Wicklow, was banned in January this year.

Asked why similar sanctions were not brought against bankers, the Central Bank said an inquiry was ongoing into Irish Nationwide Building Society "and certain persons who were concerned in its management".

An inquiry into certain people in the management of Quinn Insurance was also ongoing, the regulator said.

Irish Independent

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