Newbridge Credit Union board won’t appeal takeover decision

the Board of Directors at Newbridge Credit Union will not appeal the High Court’s decision to appoint a Special Manager to run operations for the next six months, it has been confirmed.

the Board of Directors at Newbridge Credit Union will not appeal the High Court’s decision to appoint a Special Manager to run operations for the next six months, it has been confirmed.

The current board is made up of 13 members who are Chairperson Ben Donnelly, Treasure Cormac Dunne Paddy O’Carroll, Anna Munko, Breda Reid, Liam Keogh, Paul Maher, Pat Ruddy, Michael Murphy, Maria McDonald, George Willoughby, Aine Foley and Charlie Cawley.

Former board member Micheal Mullally, who the Leader listed as a member in last week’s story as of information supplied at the 2010 annual report on September 30, resigned from his position on the board at the 2010 AGM and was replaced by Charlie Cawley.

The board has stated that it ‘agonised’ over the decision whether to appeal the order in a statement released to the Leinster Leader which was also sent to all of it’s 38,000 members.

“The Board has agonised over this very difficult decision,” it reads. “While retaining very strong reservations about this Order and process, we had to recognise that it would be a difficult and costly process to challenge the Central Bank of Ireland, particularly when the new legislation allowed for the Special Management Order to be made without affording us a right of representation in Court.

“Despite these reservations the Boards paramount concern is, as it has always been, the continuing success of the Credit Union - a key point that might be lost in a legal challenge thereby leading to prolonged uncertainty and/or instability. Therefore, on balance, we have decided not to appeal the Order,” the statement outlined.

The board also claims in their statement that they don’t ‘fully understand’ why the Special Manager has been ‘imposed’ on them.

“The Central Bank, using new powers granted in the wake of the banking crisis secured a High Court order on the 13 January 2012 to appoint a Special Manager. We don’t fully understand why these previously unused and untested powers have been imposed on us, when there are many other avenues available to them.”

The board has also highlighted fears that the Credit Union may now be used to “facilitate as yet undisclosed plans for the wider Credit Union sector restructure,” established by government in May 2011 for recommendations in March 2012 which may involve a possible amalgamation of some of the weaker credit unions around the country

“The Board is also deeply concerned at the significant cost, approved by the High Court and endorsed by Government, to our Credit Union of this particular course of action,” it reads.

“We acknowledge the Central Bank’s confirmation that our Credit Union is solvent, that there is no need for you to take any action during the course of this process, that you can continue to do business as normal, and that your savings remain safe and secure. Since January 13, there have been many comments made about our Credit Union, which have been inaccurate and sensationalist. The simple truth is that almost 90% of our loan book comprises personal loans for home improvements, education, holidays, cars, medical expenses, etc. In addition to normal personal loan provisions, it is important to note that additional security and significant provisions are also in place in respect of all non-personal loans (small business, bridging/housing and property, etc) and therefore these present no risk to the viability of our Credit Union.

“Newbridge Credit Union has also followed a very conservative, prudent and successful investment policy. All funds are held in secure deposit based investments and we have not incurred 1 cent of a loss by pursuing this policy over many years. We have endeavoured at all times to achieve a high level of compliance and to work in a professional and meaningful way with the office of the Registry of Credit Unions, our regulators, to address any issues as they arise, as demonstrated in correspondence exchanged over the years,” the statement added.