ILCU credit unions to set up centralised mortgage system following AGM vote

Media Release: 25 April 2017

Credit unions attending the Irish League of Credit Unions’ (ILCU) AGM have voted in favour of a motion that will pave the way for credit unions to become significant players in the mortgage market. Credit unions voted to make funding available for the ILCU to develop a centralised support structure to assist with the administrative burden associated with mortgage lending. It is expected that this support structure will come on-stream towards the end of 2017.

Under this model of operation, individual credit unions will be responsible for the lending decision and will directly offer the mortgage loan to members. The centralised support service will manage the administrative requirements of the mortgage lending process. The ILCU has been working with credit unions for some time to develop a full-service mortgage solution that will meet regulatory requirements.

Welcoming the decision, ILCU CEO Ed Farrell said “Expanding loan services to encompass mortgages has been a priority area for credit unions for some time and is directly in response to significant demand from credit union members. Credit unions will play an important role in diversifying the current mortgage lending market which is sorely lacking in competition. Credit unions can now begin to realise their full potential - and provide a viable alternative to current mortgage lenders in a more significant way.”

Credit unions also voted to fund the widespread roll-out of an enhanced risk and compliance support, under the ILCU’s dedicated Credit Union Compliance Centre (CUCC). CUCC works with credit unions to foster a strong organisational culture in risk management and compliance. The roll-out of a standardised approach to risk management and mitigation will be particularly important as credit unions seek to develop new services.

Also at the AGM, Charles Murphy of Slane Credit Union was elected as the new ILCU President.

Mr Murphy said “I am immensely proud to take up the mantle as the new President of the ILCU. I very much look forward to working with the Board of an organisation that has such a long and proud history, and that continues to provide invaluable support to credit unions the length and breadth of the country.”

Mr Murphy continued “I will continue to further develop the vibrant, financially healthy credit union movement which provides a full range of services with the interests of the member at the heart of everything it does.”

1,000 delegates were in attendance at the AGM at Citywest Hotel, Dublin, where they also discussed the findings of a new report Towards 2030 – Lending Opportunities for Credit Unions. The document was compiled by DCU academic and credit union researcher Dr Ciarán Mac an Bhaird and says there are ‘considerable benefits’ to the participation of credit unions in the ‘highly concentrated’ mortgage lending market. It says credit unions entering the market will especially benefit consumers who will see more competition and choice.

Delegates also heard from Credit Union Youth Ambassadors and Olympic silver medallists Gary and Paul O’Donovan, who were interviewed live at the AGM by popular sports broadcaster Darragh Maloney.


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