Credit unions are accusing the Government of "tying their hands" at a time when people need their help most.
The criticism - from the Irish League of Credit Unions - comes as Dáil members gear up to discuss the Central Bank Bill, which contains proposals to change the day-to-day running of credit unions.
The ILCU is accusing the Finance Minister and the Registrar for Credit Unions of attempting to control them in an unreasonable way.
"We believe the regulatory proposals that are currently being put in place are too onerous for Credit Unions and are unfair, and we are really being lumped in with the banking sector," said ILCU spokesman Tom Kiely.
"Credit Unions have been very conservative and prudent over the last number of years, and we believe this is excessive."