Credit union members facing dividend cut as regulator steps in

INTERVENTION by the Financial Regulator in the affairs of Newbridge Credit Union means members are likely to get less by way of dividends and rebate for the last financial year.

Last night a spokeswoman for the regulator confirmed “there were issues with the end of year accounts”.

“Those issues have now been resolved,” she said.

Rumours that a receiver had been appointed to the credit union swept Newbridge during the week, said one member of the credit union, who contacted this office last night.

“The problem was that the regulator turned into a receiver and many people feared that they might have lost their savings,” she said.

A phonecall to the managing director Des Diver from the Irish Examiner was not returned.

The letter from the credit union confirmed that a dividend will be paid and that the group generated an annual surplus of €12m against €12.8m in the previous financial year.

One crucial paragraph in the letter confirmed that the delayed AGM will now take place on December 21 and said the group “needed to complete a number of internal reviews in advance of the AGM to ensure that the current economic environment was fully reflected in our reserving policies”.

That looks to have been code for the fact that the regulator had expressed concern with the level of capital reserves.

It is understood the union wanted to pay a dividend of 3.5%, just 1% less than last year, but some members were told it was prevented from doing so by the regulator. The dividend could be a compromise 2%, one source said.

Speculation that the regulator was also concerned about a sharp rise in the credit union’s bad debts could not be confirmed.

The accounts are expected to be delivered to members early next week.

While the Regulator was forced to intervene in the affairs of the credit union, the solvency of the group is not an issue.


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