Credit unions should not be charged for the cost of Central Bank oversight the same way commercial banks are, independent TD Denis Naughten has said.
Deputy Naughten (pictured) is tabling an amendment to the Finance Bill on the issue, seeking a freeze on the introduction of an increased Central Bank levy on the country’s 240 credit unions.
The Central Bank billed Credit Unions €1.5m for the cost of oversight in 2018, and wants the sector to pay €7.8m by 2021.
However, Deputy Naughten said the costs of Credit Union regulation should be paid for by the main banks.
“I want the banks to pay the share the credit unions are being forced to pay. The reality is that in many parts of the country the banks have abandoned rural communities (and) the only financial institution that is left now is the credit union.
“But also the credit union is providing cash to many people – particularly coming up the Chritsmas – that the banks just don’t want as customers.”
He added: “Credit unions are not the same as banks and they should not be treated the same. The reality is that many of the customers that use credit unions are not wanted by the big banks. If they cannot get access to loans for times of the year like Christmas then they will be forced into the hands of loan sharks and that is in nobody’s interest.”