Saturday 23 November 2019

No ban on credit union staff entering prize draws

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

A leading credit union body will not commit to asking the lenders it represents to stop allowing staff to enter controversial prize draws.

A damaging Central Bank report found staff and directors won a prize in raffles run in almost a third of credit unions that have a draw.

But the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) would not specify if it would now encourage credit unions to exclude staff from the draws. Most of the draws involve a prize of a car. Most organisations that run draws ban their staff from entering.

The Central Bank stopped short of telling credit unions to exclude staff from the draws, but did say they need to make it clear to members if staff are allowed to buy tickets.

Asked if it has plans to ask member credit unions to close off the competitions to staff, the credit union umbrella group would only say: "The ILCU has contacted credit unions and encouraged them to review in full all findings of the Central Bank's 'Thematic Review of Prize Draws in Credit Unions', including the recommendation in relation to staff and directors involved in the operation of the prize draw."

Half of credit unions run prize draws, with some 446,000 members participating.

Meanwhile, the ILCU has asked the Irish Independent to point out that in almost one-third of credit unions where draws took place, including those where cars were prizes, staff or directors won prizes rather than being the winners in almost one-in-three draws.

The Central Bank report states: "In approximately 30pc of credit unions who operate prize draws, staff and directors have won prizes over the period October 2014 to March 2017."

Irish Independent

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