The ILCU, through the office of the CEO, engages in lobbying Government and public representatives on a number of issues on behalf of its affiliated credit unions. This is to ensure that credit unions are part of any political and legislative agendas affecting the future personal finance landscape on the island of Ireland.
To assist with its public affairs brief, the ILCU engages the services of profesisonal lobbyists - one in Northern Ireland and one in the Republic of Ireland.
The document can be viewed in full here.
1. A CHANGED LEGISLATIVE BASIS FOR CREDIT UNION POLICY
A radical review of Credit Union legislation to reconnect policy formulation with responsibility for delivery under the Minister for Finance, and enable the movement deliver an expanded range of community banking services.
2. ENABLE CREDIT UNION FUNDS TO BE INVESTED IN SOCIAL HOUSING
There have been repeated government commitments but what is urgently required now is delivery of credit union investment in social housing as authorised by the Central Bank.
3. SAFEGUARD THE ‘COMMON BOND’ AS ESSENTIAL FOR COMMUNITY BASED CREDIT UNIONS
The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance in its report on the Review of the Credit Union Sector, recognised that the ‘Common Bond’ structure inherent in the credit union movement is essential for the community and democratic base of the movement.
4. DEVELOP LENDING TO SMEs AND FAMILY FARMS AS SET OUT IN THE GOVERNMENT’S REPORT ON PUBLIC BANKING
Given the economic importance of SMEs to the economy and of family farms in rural Ireland, the League developed detailed proposals on lending to SMEs in 2016. This is also an issue at the heart of the Report on Public Banking. Our proposal meets a need not adequately met by other lending agencies. It is in keeping with the social, community based, objective of our movement.
5. DELIVERY OF DEBIT CARDS SERVICES FOR ALL CREDIT UNIONS
To date over 50 credit unions meeting the Central Bank eligibility criteria, including minimum asset size of €75m, have approval for current accounts and debit cards. Credit unions with assets of less than €75m are excluded from this critical service enhancement of the credit union business model.
6. REVERSE THE INCREASE IN THE INDUSTRY FUNDING LEVY
The increase in the Industry Funding Levy is a tax on social capital and credit unions want this increase reversed.
7. MOVE CREDIT UNION CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS TO A RISK-BASED APPROACH
The current regulations require credit unions to tie-up too much capital which instead could be used develop new services for credit union members. We have long campaigned for a risk weighted approach to be applied to credit unions.
8. INTRODUCE A CAP ON EXCESSIVE RATES OF INTEREST FOR MONEY LENDERS
An Interest Rate Restriction (IRR) research project, funded by the Social Finance Foundation (SFF) and the Central Bank of Ireland, was undertaken by University College Cork. The report identified that 21 of the 28 EU countries had a form of IRR and recommended that the Government adopt a policy that prohibits excessive rates of interest.