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Credit unions hit by loan arrears

CREDIT Union arrears rose 23pc as almost €1bn worth of loans are now in arrears.

Some 14pc of outstanding loans are more than 10 weeks in arrears, according to new figures from the Irish League of Credit Unions, due to the impact of unemployment.

Now payments are being held back for 10 weeks or more on some €18 of every €100 loaned by credit unions. A total of €936m of loans have not been paid for more than two months.

The league's chief executive, Kieron Brennan (above) , said it would be difficult to predict the pattern of arrears in the year ahead but more credit unions have taken legal action against borrowers with unpaid debts.