Fine Gael Kildare South TD, Martin Heydon, has told the Registrar of Credit Unions Ms Sharon Donnery that the Central Bank has little credibility in Newbridge and stressed that they need to communicate clearly with members, the range of resolution options now available to the authority prior to a final resolution being put in place.  Deputy Heydon was speaking at a meeting between Ms Donnery and other Central Bank officials and the seven Kildare TDs on Friday afternoon in Dublin.

“At the meeting, Ms Donnery outlined her office’s role in the process to date and stated that they have at all times acted in the best interest of the credit union sector.  She highlighted the scale of some of the problems that they identified, in particular that the traditional loan size of a typical credit union loan in Newbridge was twice that in other credit unions around the Country and that the average non-traditional loan was four times the size of the average Newbridge traditional loan.”

“When questioned in detail about how early the Credit Union Regulator’s office became aware of problems at Newbridge Credit Union, the answers became more vague. The officials refused to confirm or deny that in 2005 the then Registrar Brendan Logue along with the then Financial Regulator Liam O’Reilly raised significant breaches with Newbridge CU yet did not take any action with the management or directors.”

Deputy Heydon questioned how the merger of a much smaller entity such as Naas could be expected to take on Newbridge if it is as bad as they say and suggested that the proposed merger was a geographic solution to a financial problem.

“I have now written to the Registrar and the Central Bank Governor as a follow up to that meeting, to reiterate the need for clear and concise communication to Newbridge members on all the resolution options that are being considered prior to any final decision.  It is implausible to expect Newbridge Credit Union members to accept a solution when they do not have full information of the options and constraints that the central bank have to operate within.”

Deputy Heydon has also organised a meeting between Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and the Newbridge Credit Union Action Group for Thursday of this week.