Rathangan Credit Union grows assets to over €16m

Dividend of .1%

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Rathangan Credit Union grows assets to over €16m

Rathangan Credit Union manager, Grainne Forde and chairman, George Hipwell at the Tidy Towns Awards last November, which was sponsored by the CU

A .1% dividend was offered to Rathangan Credit Union members at last night’s 46th AGM with the local branch achieving €16m in assets, €4m in loans and a membership of 3,438.

A loan interest rebate of 0% was also approved. In 2015, a .25% dividend and a 2.5% interest rebate was put in place.

Auditor, Michael Casey of Byrne Casey & Associates said; “Over €16m went through the accounts during the year, that’s €300,000 a week. It’s so busy, and such an important entity for Rathangan and the district.”

Chairperson, George Hipwell told the 90 members, staff and volunteers in attendance that the AGM had been delayed until after Christmas due to a new accounting system. He said far more detailed information had to be approved by the Central Bank, which were swamped with accounts from Credit Unions all over the country leading to a backlog.

“This year, despite the external challenges and an uncertain landscape, we can be proud of our positive achievements ie: growth in membership, growth in savings, growth in our loan book, payment of a dividend, prudent investments, success in the collection of bad debts, adequate provision of funding for future loans and assets of €16m,” he said.

He also paid tribute to founder member Bill Kiernan, who was in attending his 46th AGM. Local man, Willie Champ, who was absent through illness, was also wished well in his recovery. Mr Hipwell also praised Mary Martin, who had retired during the year,  describing her as “a wizard with figures” with a memory to match.

Concerns were expressed by two of the attendees about dividend. They said they felt more should be given back to members if the Credit Union had €16m in assets and was doing well.

Mr Casey outlined the nature of the assets, highlighting €10m was effectively tied up in cash and €4m in loans, while the remainder was in fixed assets. He also pointed out the return on investments had dropped in value. Manager, Grainne Forde stressed the branch also pays for the savings insurance and death benefit for members.

The members were informed the number of new loans grew by 107 to 730 in 2016 totaling €2.09m  - an increase of €489,303 on the previous year. Mr Hipwell said loans were the life blood of the organisation. One hundred new members joined up in 2016.

Chapter 7 chairman, Frank Cronin complemented the Credit Union on its building, which was completed in 2011 and said it was a huge achievement for a small Credit Union.

Ciaran Bishop from the Irish League of Credit Unions recalled visiting Rathangan as a field officer where he used to liaise with the late Maddie Keanan. He said it was a credit to the board the Credit Union was in such a position.

Manager, Grainne Ford announced the winners of the art competition with Abbie Hilliard, Isabelle Clarke, Nora McIntyre, Niamh Gorey and Tessie Gleeson all topping their individual categories.

The recipients of the PJ Kelly Bursary for 2016 were Sinead Byrne, Pat Kelly, William Dunne and Daniel McAvinney. Rathangan Boys school won the recent school’s quiz in the A and B section followed by Bunscoil Bhríde in second.

It was agreed by the members to donate €1,500 to Rathangan Parish Welfare and €500 to third world charity.