Wicklow Fianna Fáil Pat Casey TD has said that the Central Bank fine of €98,000 with regard to Bray Credit Union for failing in its administration of money laundering procedures is disproportionate to the infringement and only serves to damage the nearly 27,000 members.
“The Central Bank since the financial crisis has been placing immense regulatory pressures on the Credit Union movement. While many of these regulatory procedures and processes are necessary and welcome the heavy handed attitude of the Central Bank in relation to the Credit Union boards and their members is placing immense strain on a vital financial service.”
“The scale of this fine when you consider the voluntary and membership ethos of the credit union system is off the scale and does not reflect well on the Central Bank. The Central Bank were asleep when the commercial banks contributed to the financial crash and now that they have woken up they are picking on the easy and soft target.”
“I accept that Bray Credit Union did fail in adhering to these administrative regulations but the fine is grossly unjust and puts further unnecessary burdens on the volunteer board and the 27,000 members. The Central Bank should be helping the Credit Union with capacity building measures in order that they can meet the strict regulatory regime now in place.”
Deputy Casey continued “Fianna Fáil champions the cause of credit unions in the Dáil. We are the only party to recognise the proud tradition that credit unions have in communities throughout Ireland. As banks close branches and restrict in-branch services, credit unions provide important competition and choice to consumers. In particular they provide financial services to people who the banks turn away.”
“For 52 years Bray Credit Union has proudly supported the people of Wicklow. They fully co-operated with the Central Bank investigation, there was no suggestion that the Credit Union facilitated or was aware of any money laundering and the proper controls are now in place. And yet the Central Bank decides to place this massive fine. This is wrong, plain and simple. This is using a sledgehammer to crack open a peanut., concluded the Wicklow TD.