Naas Credit Union bucks the financial trend

NAAS Credit Union continues to thrive in adverse circumstances.

NAAS Credit Union continues to thrive in adverse circumstances.

Despite the recession, Naas CU managed to return a greater “profit” than last year and for the first time the number of members broke the 18,000 barrier.

They will be paid a dividend of 1.5%, double the percentage given a year ago.

However because of the recession and the fear of not being able to meet repayments demand for credit fell and the credit union still has in the region of E30m available to lend.

During 2012 more than 4,100 loans were given out – totallingEE12.25m.

However credit committee chairman Tom Ryan told the annual general meeting last week that a cautious approach is taken to loan requests.

“Individual loan applications are judged entirely on their own merits and in lending your money we endeavour to do so in a prudent manner, therefore we refused a total of 430 loans this year,” Mr. Ryan said.

Nevertheless the lack of demand for loans was noticeable and the demand for loans fell by almost 4%.

“Our members are not immune from the present economic conditions and most continue to repay in a timely fashion,” said chairman Peter Fullam.

He also said there was a reduction in the number of people experiencing difficulties with their loan repayments.

“We hope this is maybe a small sign of an improving trend. Any member experiencing difficulty should contact our team at the earliest opportunity to discuss options,” He added.

The income an expenditure account showed a “profit” of almost E1.8m - more than three times the “profit” achieved for 2011. This is largely explained by better performing investment income, as well as falling administration expenses (like rent, rates, insurance and professional fees) and a reduced exposure to bad debts.

In 2011, the credit union lost a significant sum under the heading of investment income, with the finger of blame being directly pointed at the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

- Paul O’Meara