Future of Charleville Credit Union hangs in the balance

Proposed merger between Charleville and Clonmel Credit Unions is shelved 

Aine Fitzgerald


Aine Fitzgerald

Future of Charleville Credit Union hangs in the balance

THE future of Charleville Credit Union hangs in the balance after the collapse of a rescue merger.

Pat Savage, chairman of Charleville Credit Union Ltd, claims that the board of management “cannot create a sustainable business” under the restrictions placed upon them by the Central Bank.

In late 2016 Charleville Credit Union entered into exploratory talks with Clonmel Credit Union to determine if there was a business case for a merger of the two which would benefit the members of both credit unions and lead to a stronger combined entity.

“As you are aware Charleville Credit Union has had its challenges,” said Mr Savage in a statement which was sent to members.

“Following the property crash in 2009/10 the Central Bank required us to write down the value of our property assets and subsequently placed severe restrictions on the business.

“Restrictions not only on the value of loans we can offer members but also the level of investments we can make with our members’ reserve funds. These restrictions have now been in place for over seven years and they place a significant burden on our ability to grow and strengthen your credit union businesses.”

Mr Savage explained that “despite the strong business case both credit unions have now made the decision not to proceed”.

The abandonment of the controversial tie-up leaves the Co Cork credit union in a precarious position.

“The Central Bank has restricted us from having an annual general meeting to update you and it is for that reason that I am outlining all the facts to you in this letter,” Mr Savage stated.

“We have worked as hard as we can to get us to this point but we cannot create a sustainable business under the restrictions placed upon us.

“The Board of Management have done everything in our power to rebuild Charleville Credit Union. We are very proud of the steadfast loyalty shown by our members during this difficult time. We now call upon you and all the members to give voice to this loyalty, to use whatever influence you may have, and to demand fair play for Charleville Credit Union.

“I wish to remind you also that your savings are 100% safe and are guaranteed under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme up to €100,000 per member.”