Wednesday 25 April 2018

Report puts Progressive Credit Union in spotlight

Progressive Credit Union
Progressive Credit Union

John Manning

THE Progressive Credit Union, which has members across north Fingal, is not commenting on reports in the 'Irish Independent' over the weekend that it was one of a number of credit unions that received confidential information on its clients from private investigators.

In an 'Irish Independent' investigation on Friday, it was revealed that a number of Credit Unions had hired private investigators who, in turn, had used 'illegal' tactics to obtain confidential details belonging to its customers.

The Progressive Credit Union was named as one of at least a dozen credit unions who used private investigators who are now being probed by a Data Protection Commissioner investigation for obtaining private information from the Department of Social Protection.

The Fingal Independent contacted Progressive Credit Union on Monday morning, in the wake of the reports, and spoke briefly to the CEO, Sean Staunton.

He said that the Progressive Credit Union had made a 'policy decision' not to comment on the report and referred the Fingal Independent to a statement on the controversy issued by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU).

In that statement, the ILCU said: 'Credit Unions were unaware that illegal means of data collection were being used. If this was being done, it was without the Credit Unions' permission or knowledge.

'Credit Unions would not knowingly employ any company who use illegal tactics and we certainly do not, in any way, condone the use of securing information by illicit means.

'We are aware that the Data Commissioner is not pursuing the Credit Unions in this matter but rather the private investigators directly.'

Mr Staunton did not wish to add to the statement but said that the Progressive Credit Union agreed with it and said the controversy was 'not an issue for us, it's more an issue for the people who were disclosing the information'.

The 'Irish Independent' investigation quotes 'informed sources' insisting that Credit Unions were not aware that the private investigators they hired were using any underhand tactics to retrieve the information they passed on to the lending institutions.

It's understood the private investigators were being used as a last resort to track down people who owed money to the lending institutions.

Fingal Independent