“Rapid growth in Credit Union lending expected to continue as Solution Centre rolls out enhanced Credit Union Business Model”
Responding to yesterday’s launch of the Joint Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation’s Report entitled “ The Cost of doing Business ” and last week’s decision by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Finance, not to support the establishment of a new local public banking system, CUDA (Credit Union Development Association), the representative and lobby group for Ireland’s largest credit unions, said that its 48 strong network of the more progressive credit unions can fill this void and provide the much needed competition to the banks.
Speaking at the launch yesterday, Kevin Johnson, CEO of CUDA, which is also behind the Solution Centre – a collaborative that supplies product development and business supports to the Credit Union sector to enable them to lend to non-core sectors,
“We welcome the excellent work of both Joint Committees and their recognition that the cost of doing business, particularly the cost of borrowing needs be brought down, and that priority should be given to working with the existing framework provided by credit unions and An Post networks nationwide. Credit unions are already playing an increasing role in the Irish retail financial sector and CUDA anticipates working closely with the Central Bank of Ireland to expand the product and services that credit union branches throughout the country can offer individual and business members.
While having enjoyed strong lending growth in 2017, our 48member credit unions are forecasting rapid growth in 2018 & 2019.”
CUDA say that it has taken a leadership role in lobbying for and developing the changes that are essential for credit unions to meet the demands of the current financial landscape. Through the Solution Centre, they have introduced new products, and implemented new processes and systems that will deliver the benefits that the advocates for public community banking are seeking.
Mr. Johnson continued: “Credit Unions have the lending capacity and are developing the expertise to take an enhanced role in relation to lending to SMEs. In tandem with the accompanying management and advisory support structures offered by the Solutions Centre, numerous credit unions throughout the country could provide loans to SME’s, say up to €75,000.”
Mr. Johnson. concluded: “Credit unions can be at the financial heartbeat of our indigenous economy and can create a platform for rural revival, and indeed urban stimulation. With 268 credit unions and billions of euro currently available to lend, credit unions are very well positioned to deliver this service.”