23 May 2022

'More needs to be done' - Credit unions must seize opportunity amid bank closures, says Minister

'More needs to be done' - Credit unions must seize opportunity amid bank closures, says TD

'More needs to be done' - Credit unions must seize opportunity amid bank closures, says TD

Credit unions must seize opportunity following the departure of Ulster Bank and KBC from Irish markets. 

That's according to the Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Seán Fleming TD, who made the comment at the Irish League of Credit Union Conference and AGM 2022 in Belfast today (Saturday April 23). 

The minister emphasised the need for credit unions to capitalise on opportunities arising from the closures, as well as the shuttering of bank branches country-wide. 

He said, "I believe the credit union sector is one of our society’s most prized possessions. The local credit union and the role it can play in the economy and in communities is more important now than ever before."

In February last year, Ulster Bank announced a phased withdrawal of its banking activity and financial services in Ireland, with the bank set to close its doors to all Irish customers within the next few years. 

KBC Bank, too, recently announced it will formally wind down operations and exit the Irish market. 

Minister Fleming is encouraging further collaboration between credit unions to deliver a wider range of products and services and to grow their lending. 

He said, "If the credit union sector is to grow and become the movement it has the potential to become more needs to be done by all stakeholders to embrace business model change and increase lending and collaboration.

"The League has a leadership role in providing your members, many of whom are here today, with commercially-minded support to enable and implement the required business model change." 

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