Newbridge Credit Union: Members fear diminished role

Special Meeting of Concerned Members of Newbridge Credit Union at Ryston Sports and Social Club. Photo. Jimmy Fullam.
Members of Newbridge Credit Union have raised concerns that they will have “no say” in the proprosed merger with Naas Credit Union.

Members of Newbridge Credit Union have raised concerns that they will have “no say” in the proprosed merger with Naas Credit Union.

‘Save Newbridge Credit Union’ campaigner Willie Crowley, who chaired a crisis meeting with around 600 members last Wednesday to fight for the future of the struggling finanical institution and keep the building, said the most serious question now posed is what are the implications for the existing staff jobs in both organisations.

“It is also clear that the members of both Credit Unions will have no say in the proposed merger as this power is now vested in the case of Naas to the directors and in the case of Newbridge to the special manager who will vote on behalf of Newbridge Directors,” claimed Mr Crowley.

It was revealed last week by the Central Bank that Naas Credit Union first submitted a proposal to the Central Bank to merge with Newbridge Credit Union last April.

“Since the appointment of the Special Manager to Newbridge Credit Union by the High Court on 13 January 2012, the Central Bank has been actively engaged with the Special Manager to address the credit union’s financial position,” a statement from the Central Bank reads.

“In April 2013, Naas Credit Union submitted a proposal to the Central Bank. The proposal set out the basis upon which Naas Credit Union would be prepared to combine with Newbridge Credit Union.

“In response to a request from the Governor of the Central Bank, the Minister for Finance has confirmed that he is prepared, in principle, to support the proposal.

“The proposal remains subject to, amongst other things, the completion of due diligence, negotiation of relevant documentation, Naas Credit Union board approval, regulatory consideration as well as steps required under the 2011 Act including Court approval.

“The proposal from Naas Credit Union envisages retaining and developing credit union services available to members in both Naas and Newbridge.”

A statement released from Naas CU said the aim is to ensure a strong credit union that will contine to serve both communities.

“The Credit Union had nothing further to say on the matter pending the outcome of discussions with the Central Bank, which may take a number of months to conclude. Naas Credit Union is a strong credit union with total assets in excess of €76m and 22,000 members.”

Meanwhile a spokesperson from the Central Bank in response to the concerns raised said;

“This is still at proposal stage and nothing has yet been agreed. It is important to note that the proposal envisages retaining and developing credit union services available to members in both Naas and Newbridge.”

- Paula Campbell