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ABCUL represented at ILCU AGM

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25 Apr 17

ABCUL has represented the British credit union movement at the Annual General Meeting of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU).

ABCUL President Robert Kelly and Chief Executive Mark Lyonette joined 1,000 delegates at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel as guests of their neighbouring credit union trade association. ABCUL and ILCU work closely together as members of the World Council of Credit Unions and the European Network of Credit Unions.

Delegates at the ILCU AGM agreed an historic motion that will pave the way for Ireland’s credit unions to become significant players in the mortgage market. Credit unions voted to make funding available for 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.

ILCU Chief Executive 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.”

Under the proposed 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.

ABCUL Chief Executive Mark Lyonette said: “Credit unions in Ireland and Britain alike face a lending challenge which demands innovative, co-operative solutions.

“Just as credit unions in Britain have understood that it is through co-operating and working together that our movement can achieve the scale to offer more competitive products to our members, this exciting decision by Irish credit unions is another example of how our sector can deliver better outcomes for consumers through collaboration. We look forward to seeing the progress of this new innovation in Ireland.”

Robert and Mark were joined in Dublin by three of the CU Futures graduates who delivered the winning group project. As well as attending the ILCU AGM, the prize for Lauren Foley (Hull & East Yorkshire Credit Union), Nick Froud (formerly of Cardiff & Vale Credit Union) and Natalie McQuade (NHS Credit Union) included visits to Citi’s Innovation Lab, e-services & communications Credit Union, Health Services Staffs Credit Union and Malahide Credit Union. Thanks were expressed to ILCU for arranging the visit, to Paul Walsh and CUNA Mutual for their support and to all the credit unions who hosted visits for their hospitality over the weekend.

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