THE ongoing placing of restrictions on how much people can borrow from credit unions and forcing borrowers to repay loans within three years rather than the customary five is driving people away from credit unions it was claimed as we went to press yesterday (Monday).
Speaking following the annual general meeting of St. Dominic’s Credit Union, vice president, Seán Maher said that fewer people borrowing is bad news for credit unions and for members who are forced to go to banks or even to money lenders.
“The Credit Union of St. Dominic is open for lending. Last year we loaned €7.7m and we have more funds to give out but the restrictions placed on us by the financial regulator of the Central Bank is crippling on people,” said Seán Maher.
Now credit union members can only borrow €10,000 over their share value and because it must be repaid within three years, it was, he said “doing untold damage.”
Announcing that shareholders are to receive a dividend of 1% on their savings the vice president said that credit unions relied on interest from borrowings to survive and grow and he expressed the hope that restrictions imposed which made it more and more difficult to borrow would soon be lifted by the Central Bank.
Nonetheless, he said, “There are requirements that a member must meet to borrow but the credit union is lending and will continue to do so.”
Despite operating in a difficult environment St. Dominic’s recorded a surplus of €1.7m last year. Total assets stood at €96.3m.
See full story in this weeks edition of the Waterford News & Star.