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Credit Unions named champions for Customer Experience for unprecedented 9th consecutive year

Posted on: 03 Oct 2023

For an unprecedented ninth year running, credit unions have once again topped the league table for the best customer experience in Ireland according to the Customer Experience Insight (CXi) Report for 2023. Not only did credit unions beat 149 other organisations to retain this top position, they also further improved their already winning CX score, widening the customer experience gap between them and their rivals to achieve the highest score ever seen in the CXi Ireland survey. 

Report author and CEO of The CX Company Cathy Summers said the main reason credit unions are so successful at delivering customer experience excellence on a consistent basis is because they are embedded in the community and focused on driving change to meet their customers’ needs rather than just driving change to make their organisation more efficient. Summers said their CX record means credit unions are well placed to further compete with the banks for more complex products as well as the more traditional financial offering. 

Commenting on the announcement, David Malone, CEO of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) said that the ILCU was delighted to see the customer experience from credit unions topping the standard for companies in Ireland.  

“This unprecedented ninth win is recognition of the dedication and hard work of credit union staff and volunteer directors across Ireland. Their relentless focus is always on being there for our members, for communities and uniquely when compared with our competitors, on being not-for-profit. The credit union social ethos allows us to focus solely on how to best deliver for our existing and potential new members. This means we continue to offer a face-to-face customer experience in over 400 community locations where our 3,000 expert staff and 3,000 directors provide a professional service and essential financial supports to their members. On top of that our customers who wish to engage with us through the ever-growing credit union digital offering can choose to do so at their convenience.” 

The Customer Experience Insight (CXi) Report is published annually by the CX Company based on a survey carried out on their behalf by Amárach Research. Over 29,640 experiences were evaluated using The CX Framework and performance under six key Emotional Drivers. In addition, companies were evaluated on the basis of value, affordability, willingness to pay more for a better experience, preferred channels of interaction, loyalty, whether the experience has improved and how important employees are to the customer experience. 




About Credit Unions: 

Credit unions are driving a better type of banking option for the public in Ireland. Credit Unions are located in over 400 locations in the Republic of Ireland with 3,000 expert staff providing essential financial advice to their members and 3,000 directors providing a professional service pro bono. 

Credit unions affiliated to the ILCU held €17.9 billion in assets at 30 June 2023, a figure that has more than doubled over the last 20 years. Membership also continues to increase and is currently 3.2 million and increasing steadily at a rate of 1,000 per week.  

The credit union loan book is up to €5.1 billion, up 40% over the last 10 years. Credit unions have continued to increase their market leading share to over 40% of the unsecured personal loan market.  400,000 loans were issued in the last 12 months totalling €2.5 billion. This is the highest level of annual lending ever.  Loans are typically used to help with household improvements, retrofit their homes, buy a car, pay for their wedding, medical costs etc. 

Public demand for credit union mortgages goes from strength to strength and is up 41% year on year. Many credit unions are now offering mortgages at a very competitive rate lower than their banking counterparts and provide much needed competition to a mortgage market dominated primarily by the 3 pillar banks.   

Credit union current account growth also continues with 1 in every 10 current accounts opened now with a credit union with a best-in-class app, Google Pay and Apple Pay functionality as well as an internationally recognised debit card.  

In May 2023, credit unions were appointed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) champions by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications for 2023 and 2024. This is a very significant appointment for credit unions and recognition of their importance to communities across Ireland. As the only financial institution in Ireland owned and governed by the members, credit unions are by their structure, designed to be sustainable.