LEIXLIP & District Credit Union’s board of volunteer directors will recommend a dividend rate on shares of 0.75 or three quarters of one percent at union’s AGM in Leixlip House Hotel this week (5 December).
The union recorded a surplus of €560,363 for the year to 30 September 2012, compared to €208,121 the previous year.
The directors are proposing a dividend payment of €201,212, which is an increase on the €138,184 paid last year.
As with most credit unions, dividends have fallen in recent years, partly so that credit unions could increase their reserves and deal with bad debts.
In Leixlip’s case, it fell steadily from €838,170 in 2009 to €138,184, paid out to members during the year to 30 September 2012, but based on the previous financial year ‘ssurplus.
While the union’s total income has fallen by almost 4% to €1.55m, costs have fallen by almost 30% to €992,862.
This is partly due to a reduction of around 40% in the amount of bad debts written off, which dropped to €227,361. Some of these will eventually be paid by members and €83,616 was paid back by members whose loans had been previously written off in previous years.
The union also has a much lower provision for bad or doubtful debts. This money is put aside to cater for potential risky loans. In the 2012 accounts this cost stood at €100,000 much lower than the €350,000 provided for last year.
The credit union had total assets of €31.9m at the end of September compared to €32.3m at the end of the 2011 year. The union had reserves of €5.6m.
On the income side, loan interest dropped by about 15% to €8.23,347 while investment income increased almost 12% to €739,608.
The credit union, which had 9,796 members on 30 September last, had €22.6m invested on behalf of members and using a average of this and the €20.5m invested a year earlier, the investment income indicates an approximate return of 3.4% on these investments.
*Journalist Henry Bauress is a former director of Leixlip & District Credit Union.