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Rescue plan for credit union may avoid merger

THE shape of a possible rescue plan for embattled Newbridge Credit Union has emerged.

A fight for control of the controversial credit union has been raging for a year and a half now, with the Central Bank proposing it is merged with Naas Credit Union.

The Central Bank persuaded the High Court to appoint Luke Charleton of Ernst & Young as special manager of Newbridge Credit Union in January last year.

Following a meeting with Finance Minister Michael Noonan earlier this week, the Save Newbridge Credit Union group is now in the process of putting together a rescue plan for the credit union it claims will be less costly than a merger.

The group was accompanied at the meeting with the minister by banking consultant Greg Allen of GDA Consulting in Dublin.

But it would need the agreement of Central Bank regulators.

His plan involves postponing the merger with Naas, and appointing a special manager acceptable to the community and the Central Bank.

It would also involve a "buy-in" from the community. This could take the form of a proportion of the credit union's shares being redominated as non-recoverable in the event that the rescue plan fails. It is understood this is provided for under credit union legislation.

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