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Quarterly Results show Continued Strong Lending by Credit Unions

Posted on: 28 May 2024

The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), which represents over 90% of the total active credit unions in the Republic of Ireland, has released the Q2 2023/24 quarterly performance results on behalf of its member credit unions. 
The results for the quarter (January to March 2024) highlight a continued strong lending performance up 2.7% in the quarter and 13.6% for the last 12 months with a significant increase in mortgages.
Arrears remain close to all-time lows. Credit unions have funds to lend and are continuing to provide much needed affordable finance to 3.25 million members throughout the country as the market leader with over 50% market share in the personal unsecured lending market.
Savings & Loans 
The assets of ILCU affiliated credit unions stood at €18.1 billion at the end of March 2024. This has increased by over 40% over the last 10 years reflecting the continued growth of credit union activity. Similarly, savings in ILCU affiliated credit unions have increased to €15.2 billion illustrating the ongoing and continued trust by members in their credit union. This represents an increase of 0.9% in savings during Q2 2023/24.
With regard to lending, Q2 2023/24 showed an extraordinarily strong performance across all areas of 2.7%, when compared to a growth of 2.4% in the same quarter last year. In total, there were over 90,400 new loans issued in the quarter, this is up 4% on the same quarter last year which equates to over 1,000 loans issued every day.
There has been a phenomenal increase in credit union mortgage lending in recent years. For the 12 months to 31 March 2024 the value of credit union mortgages issued is up 71%. The credit union mortgage loan book has passed a key milestone of €500m and is on target to reach €1 billion over the next two years. Public demand for credit union mortgages continues to grow, driven by competitive rates but also importantly by a personalised service with quick turnaround times. The Credit Union (Amendment) Act 2023 is an enabling piece of legislation that will facilitate credit unions to increase their national presence in mortgages.
The increases in lending are in the context of near historic low arrears of 2.7%. This compares to a current 90-day mortgage arrears ratio of 4.1% (CBI Residential Mortgage Arrears report published 26 March 2024[1]). This highlights the quality of credit worthiness assessment, vigilance, prudence and constant monitoring displayed by credit unions throughout Ireland.
Current Accounts & Digital Payments
Credit unions processed in excess of 20m electronic payments in the last quarter, of which 50% were card based and 50% SEPA transfers. Of the card-based transactions, 95% were point of sale or online with 5% ATM withdrawals.  In terms of point-of-sale transactions, contactless was by far the preferred method, with 62% of all point-of-sale transactions paid using contactless payment. In terms of current account growth, over 1,000 new credit union current accounts were opened weekly in the quarter showing continued growth in the number of people choosing to bank with their local credit union.
Credit unions in over 280 locations across the country are providing current accounts which are potentially accessible to 2.5 members. Credit union current accounts provide instant access to your money through our Mastercard® Debit Card with contactless, a secure app, online portal and apple pay, google pay, fit bit functionality.
David Malone, CEO of the Irish League of Credit Unions commented; “These robust financial results highlight the continued growth trajectory and future potential of credit unions, and opportunities that they offer members all across Ireland.  
“Coupled with the over 90,000 loans in the quarter issued by our credit unions there is a constantly growing pipeline of demand for loans which our members are ready to facilitate given the funds we have to lend at competitive rates.
Mr Malone continued, “Credit unions were recently identified by the public as the most reputable organisation in the country for the second consecutive year, according to the 2024 RepTrak® study. This level of reputation and trust provides the platform for us to further grow and develop and in this context, we are looking forward to the forthcoming results of the Central Bank’s review of the lending framework. We are hopeful that the review will yield targeted changes to allow more choice for consumers and remove crisis-era restrictions. The changes that we are looking for will allow more mortgages and business lending to improve competition in a safe and prudent manner. 
“Credit unions are in every community in Ireland, with over 400 locations, 3,000 staff and 3,000 volunteers, and the trust placed in us is reflected in the ongoing growth in demand for services.”  
Notes to Editor
Q2 2023/24 Summary of results for ILCU member credit unions.

  December 2023 March 2024 Quarter to March 2024
Assets €17.99 billion €18.13 billion Up €137 million, +0.8% this quarter
Loans outstanding €5.41 billion €5.56 billion Up €148 million, +2.7% this quarter
New Loans €633 million €681 million +7.4% this quarter
Mortgages €425 million
(€544m sector)
€473 million
(€606m sector)
Up 11% this quarter
Capital – 10% is regulatory requirement €2.85 billion (15.85%) €2.88 billion (15.88%) Up 1% this quarter
Liquidity (regulatory minimum is 20%) 25.4% 27.0% Up to 27.0%
Savings €15.02 billion €15.16 billion Up €134 million, +0.9% this quarter
Loans/Savings ratio 36% 37% Up to 37%
Members 3.25 million 3.25 million Up 1,250 this quarter
Annual Summary from March 2023 to March 2024
  March 2023 March 2024 Year to March 2024
Assets €17.75 billion €18.13 billion Up €380 million, +2.1%, year on year
Loans outstanding €4.90 billion €5.56 billion Up €664 million, +13.6% year on year
New Loans €2.37 billion €2.74 billion +15.8% year on year
Mortgages €277 million (€355m sector) €473 million
(€606m sector)
Up 71% year on year              
Capital – 10% is regulatory requirement €2.76 billion (15.54%) €2.88 billion (15.88%) Up 4.4% year on year
Liquidity (regulatory minimum is 20%) 25.5% 27.0% Up to 27.0%
Savings €14.89 billion €15.16 billion Up €265 million, +1.8% year on year
Loans/Savings ratio 33% 37% Up to 37%
Members – 3.25 million 3.20 million 3.25 million Up 46,000 year on year      
Note: ILCU data includes data from 171 active credit unions in the Republic of Ireland.