Move on Credit Unions Deplored

Published: July 7, 2010
Categories: News Article, Euro/Finance

If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It, says MEP

In a scathing attack on the Central Bank Bill 2010 passed in the Seanad yesterday, Independent MEP Marian Harkin says that unnecessary measures adopted will have a serious impact on the operations and viability of Credit Unions.

Marian Harkin said:-  “Many of our financial institutions operated like casinos and as a result beggared the country while, in the main, Credit Unions based in the community acted with probity and concern for their members interests and still maintained assets of almost €14.6bn.  Yet the Credit Unions will now pay an unacceptably high price for the utter mismanagement of other financial institutions by the entry into force of the new draconian regulations contained in the Central Bank Bill 2010.  The Credit Union movement does not need a government bail out.  The Credit Unions are not sucking hard–earned tax payers money into a bottomless black hole.  In fact they have money to loan to their members and small businesses that are starved of cash.  Their ‘not for profit’ ethos, and their voluntary boards, have served their communities well and will continue to do so, if allowed

“This legislation will tie the hands of Credit Unions.  It will impose unacceptable levels of bureaucracy and red tape and will severely limit their ability to continue serving their members.  There is no doubt but that the numbers of Credit Unions will diminish, particularly the smaller ones, leaving small communities rural and urban without access to their services.  The measures in the Central Bank Bill will take a model that has worked well in good times and bad, that has served the interests of small and large communities alike, and that is not driven by greed or outside interests but the welfare of its members, and will change that model irrevocably.  In our haste to make up for the mistakes of the past, we are convicting the innocent and throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  We need to take a step back, do a proper impact assessment and then and only then, take action – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, Marian Harkin MEP concluded.