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Rescue fund helps credit unions to merge

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Credit Union

A RESCUE fund controlled by credit unions has been used to support the takeover of a Galway city credit union.

St Columba's Credit Union in the city got clearance from the Central Bank to take over Naomh Padraig, which is also based in the city. The combined entity will have 27,000 members and assets of €104m.

It is understood that around €4m was put into Naomh Padraig before the merger to boost its reserve. The funds came from the rescue fund set up by credit unions that make up the Irish League of Credit Unions.

This is the first time the fund, known as the Savings Protection Fund, was used to support a merger.

Naomh Padraig's reserves were below Central Bank requirements after it recently had a valuation done on offices it built in the city's Eyre Square.

The chairman of the newly merged unit, to be called St Columba's, Padraig O'Callaghan, said no offices will be closed as a result of the tie-up.

The merger was managed through ReBo, the body set up by the State to facilitate tie-ups.

Mr O'Callghan said support was also received from the League of Credit Unions and the Central Bank.

Irish Independent