‘Business as usual’ says new special manager

THE special manager who was appointed to run Newbridge Credit Union from immediate effect last Friday for six months has inisisted that it is ‘business as usual’.

THE special manager who was appointed to run Newbridge Credit Union from immediate effect last Friday for six months has inisisted that it is ‘business as usual’.

Luke Charleton of Ernst and Young was appointed to take over with on Friday, January 13. He spoke to the Leinster Leader on Monday.

“We are open for business as usual,” said Mr Charleton who will earn €423 per hour.

“The credit union continues to open as it did on Saturday and today (Monday). I will review the loan book and develop a business plan. The accounts for 2011 have not yet been published. The regulatory reserve means that there is capital available of 10 percent as a buffer - it is a minimum capital requirement to deal with the unexpected. Mr Charleton confirmed that current manager, Des Diver, is remaining in his position.

“All staff, including Mr Diver, will continue in employment. I have not assumed the power of manager but rather the powers of the directors. Mr Diver will report to me rather than the directors. There has been a lot of people through the doors since the announcement and the staff here have done a fantastic job. As long as the members continue to support Newbridge Credit Union it will remain open. I now have four weeks to carry out a report which I will give to the Central Bank.”

Mr Charleton, who was appointed under the Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011, refused to comment on the speculation that the losses on the 2011 balance sheet relate to property related loans acquired in the boom.

“I have to ascertain and deal with the facts - I cannot comment on any speculation,” he said.

“Anyone can still withdraw or make a deposit here. There is no panic although more people than usual came in through the doors on Saturday but then it is not everyday a special manager is appointed.”

Newbridge Credit Union previously stated that its delayed AGM will be held when the audit is finished.

“That’s still the position, basically that is with the consent of the Central Bank and that position hasn’t changed from the public position previously,” he said.

Under the High Court Order, Mr Charleton’s job description includes undertaking a review of Newbridge Credit Union with a view to ascertaining its financial position.

This report is due to be provided to the Central Bank within a month. He is also tasked with developing a plan to restore the institution’s financial position “considering all available options and to provide a report to the Central Bank”.

Under last Friday’s High Court order, he cannot liquidate Newbridge Credit Union or transfer its assets or liabilities.

His apppointment is for six months, and the Central Bank can apply for an extension to that Term under the Central Bank and Credit Institutinos (Resolution) Act 2011.

The special manager will be aided by colleagues who will carry out similar restructuring processes including a partner who will earn hourly rates for the first month of their appointment of €423, a director on €339, a senior manager on €279, a manager on €216 and a senior on €150. All work undertaken by the special manager and his assistants shall with effect from Monday, February 13, 2012 be agreed between the Central Bank and the special manager.