Former Newbridge Credit Union director claims ‘gagging order’ in place

A former board member of Newbridge Credit Union has claimed that the Board members have been silenced by a gagging order since January 2012.

A former board member of Newbridge Credit Union has claimed that the Board members have been silenced by a gagging order since January 2012.

The claim, by Breda Reid, comes amid speculation that the flagging financial institution will be merged with it’s counterpart in Naas.

The claim was made in a letter which was posted on Monday to a new Facebook page called ‘Save Newbridge Credit Union’.

The page has, in less than 24 hours, garnered almost 600 likes.

The letter by Ms. Reid comes ahead of a crisis meeting organised for concerned members in Ryston Sports and Social Club tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 8.30pm.

In the emotional letter Ms Reid, who tendered her resignation from the board of Directors last January, makes reference to the “final dismantling of Newbridge Credit Union”, which a national Sunday newspaper claimed will take place within the next few months.

Ms. Reid also states that the Board of Directors were threatened “with a personal fine of €100,000 and/or three years in jail”, if they disclosed any information about what was going on at the financial institution since the appointment of the special manager in January 2012.

The letter, which claims that Newbridge Credit Union ‘was one of the best run and most successful credit unions in the country’ before the special manager (Luke Charleton) was appointed, has attracted several comments from local members, both supportive and unsupportive.

Ms. Reid also hits out how much the special manager has cost Newbridge Credit Union so far. “Apart from the reputational damage, the final cost will be around €2 million.

“This begs another question as to how a Credit Union, which is supposed to be in trouble, could afford to pay the exorbitant level of fees charged by Ernst and Young, but were not allowed to pay a dividend to their loyal members who have kept faith throughout this calamity.”

The letter urges members ‘to make their voices heard’ and to help save the future of the credit union.

Meanwhile a statement on Monday from the Central Bank to the Leinster Leader states that “the Central Bank is actively engaged with the Special Manager and is working to strengthen the credit union’s position, in the interests of protecting members’ savings and with a view to maintaining continuity of services within the local community”.

“NCU members are reminded that eligible deposits of credit union members, up to €100,000 per member, are fully guaranteed by the statutory Deposit Guarantee Scheme. The High Court recently (5 July 2013) approved an extension of the Special Management Order concerning Newbridge Credit Union for a further 6 months.”

-Paula Campbell