Newbridge Credit Union group call for special manager’s immediate removal

By Paula Campbell

Reporter:

By Paula Campbell

The Newbridge Credit Union Action Group has called for the immediate removal of the special manager from Newbridge Credit Union in the wake of meetings with Michael Martin, TD and leader of Fianna Fail and Pierse Doherty, TD, Sinn Fein, this week.

The Newbridge Credit Union Action Group has called for the immediate removal of the special manager from Newbridge Credit Union in the wake of meetings with Michael Martin, TD and leader of Fianna Fail and Pierse Doherty, TD, Sinn Fein, this week.

The Chairman, Willie Crowley, said that following the release into the public domain of the draft audited accounts dated November 2011, the group are demanding intervention from the Minister for Finance, Micheal Noonan, to restore the control of NCU from Luke Charleton of Ernst & Young back to the elected Board of Directors.

“This information which has been withheld from members for almost two years, despite repeated calls for its publication, and in defiance of the democratic rights of our members to have it,” he said.

“Its release clearly demonstrate the flawed reasoning of the Central Bank in installing a Special Manager to Newbridge Credit Union and in its strategy in trying to force a merger on our members.

“We are seeking the immediate removal of the Special Manager and the restoration of control of our Credit Union to the elected Directors and management. We are demanding that an AGM be held, as soon as is practicable and after the directors are given access to, and time to consider, all the information which the Special Manager has gathered during his tenure.”

The Action Group will also be seeking compensation for what they claim as ‘consequential loss and damage to the reputation’ of NCU since the appointment of the special manager to run operations at NCU until next December. After December a controversial merger with Naas CU has been proposed in order to avoid a full scale liquidation of NCU according to the Central Bank.

The Action Group also claim, in a statement issued today, that the intervention of the regulator in NCU was ‘flawed’ and that a negative impact on loan repayments in NCU was provoked by the ‘irresponsible leaking of mis-information and adverse comments’ to the media by the Central Bank’s regulator of Credit Unions.

“We will also be seeking that the outflow of funds from the Credit Union since the arrival of the Special Manager, are quantified and that this amount is injected back into the CU by way of compensation to its members for the adverse affect caused by the flawed intervention of the regulator,” the statement reads.

“We will further seek to assess, and quantify the negative impact on loan repayments provoked by the irresponsible leaking of mis-information and adverse comments to the media by the Central Bank’s regulator of Credit Unions. We will seek compensation for consequential loss and damage to the reputation of our Credit Union.”

The Central Bank, in response to the leaked draft 2011 accounts, said that no figures for 2011 were finalised, adding that ‘it was important to note that any information relating to 2011 would not be finalised figures’.

And a similar statement from Ernst & Young on the leaked 2011 draft accounts said that the draft 2011 accounts ‘should not be considered the final audited statutory accounts for Newbridge Credit Union for the year ended 30 September 2011.’

“No audited statutory accounts for the year ended 30 September 2011 were finalised prior to or since the appointment of the Special Manager due to the ongoing resolution process. Prior to statutory accounts being finalised the accounts have to go through a number of specific steps, which have not been completed for the financial accounts for the year ended 30 September 2011. Therefore, accounts not published by NCU should not be considered the final audited statutory accounts for Newbridge Credit Union for the year ended 30 September 2011.”

At the time of going to press the Central Bank and Ernst & Young had failed to comment on the Action Group’s demands or allegations.

The Action Group has held several meetings and rallys over the past month in a bid to stop a merger with Naas and to retain the credit union in Newbridge, attracting up to 2,000 members at various times out of a total of 37,000 members in NCU.

- Paula Campbell