Tuesday 24 October 2017

Noonan to help facilitate meeting on Credit Union

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

FINANCE MINISTER Michael Noonan has promised to facilitate a meeting between regulators and campaigners attempting to stop their credit union being forcibly merged with another lender.

The minister met the Save Newbridge Credit Union action group in a bid to break the impasse over the future of the lender.

Members of the action group are now hoping the minister's intervention will allow them to present their own rescue plan to regulators at the Central Bank.

The group opposes a plan from the Central Bank to force Newbridge to merge with nearby Naas Credit Union, both in Co Kildare.

A High Court-appointed special manager has been running Newbridge Credit Union for the past 18 months. The appointment is expected to cost €2m when his work is completed, the court has been told.

Concerns about the valuation of the extensive offices of the credit union, losses on commercial property loans and governance of the lender, prompted the appointment of special manager Luke Charleton of Ernst & Young.

Mr Noonan told the Dail earlier this week that tens of millions of euro in taxpayers' money will have to be paid out to cover losses at Newbridge.

He said this was the first time public money was required to support a credit union.

The final figure cannot be disclosed at this stage, but it is understood it could be as high as €40m.

The Save Newbridge Credit Union action group has a plan it claims will mean a lower rescue cost. The group was accompanied at the meeting with the minister by banking consultant Greg Allen of GDA Consulting in Dublin.

Irish Independent

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