Credit Union set to grow to key provider of community banking in Wicklow with new legislation – Minister Harris

New legislation will allow credit unions to expand their membership and services in Wicklow and crucially will help more people own their own home, Minister Simon Harris said.

Following the official commencement of the Credit Union Amendment Act 2023, new legislation aimed at bringing about significant reforms for the Credit Union sector in Ireland, Wicklow Minister Simon Harris said: “Credit Unions have been for many years the beating heart of the community and I have seen first-hand the positive impact they have had on families and businesses across Wicklow.

“There has been a huge body of work taking place over the past three years on this legislation with much needed reforms that will enable a wider availability of products across credit unions and enable members to access the widest possible range of financial services through their local branch.

“The practical benefits of the new legislation are as follows:

·         Extended collaboration options for credit unions to enhance competitiveness in lending markets.

·         Increased member choice with options like referral to other credit unions or forming corporate credit unions.

·         Flexibility around the common bond for expended membership and services.

·         Empowered credit union boards for better governance and strategic focus

“The commencement of the Act will be phased with Phase 1 coming into effect on Thursday 22nd February 2024, while the commencement of Phase 2 will come into effect on Monday 8th April 2024.

“I am committed to ensuring more people own their own homes. It is expected that through the enhanced ability to collaborate, share resources and generate economies of scale that this legislation affords, credit unions will be able to compete more effectively in the mortgage and SME lending market.

Wicklow Minister Simon Harris concluded “This Act represents a very progressive piece of legislation that will have far-reaching positive implications for Wicklow and Ireland overall in the years to come.”

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