Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has welcomed news that the Irish League of Credit Unions is exploring the possibility of Credit Unions providing home loans to its members.
Deputy McGrath stated, “With a presence in most communities around the country, the Credit Union movement is well placed to provide mortgages to its members seeking to buy a home. In doing so, Credit Unions would be providing badly needed competition for the banks who continue to charge customers well above European norms for home loans.
“The lending restrictions, imposed by the Central Bank, have resulted in the Credit Union sector having a vast amount of cash which cannot be lent on to members. The Central Bank needs to find ways of allowing the Credit Unions to put that money to work in the economy and the provision of mortgage finance by Credit Unions is one such avenue that should be pursued. Last year, the Irish League of Credit Unions said its member Credit Unions had €5 billion available to lend.
“Entry into the mortgage market would clearly present challenges for the Credit Union movement as the necessary expertise and proper risk assessment would need to be developed. I believe the Central Bank should engage positively with the Credit Union sector to explore what could be an exciting new chapter for the movement. Management and staff at Credit Unions are going through a period of great change and they know that the movement has to pursue new opportunities in the changed landscape in which they operate”.