McCreevy’s community battle looms

AFTER the bitter hassle between Irish Credit Unions and Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy it would be regrettable if they were to become embroiled again in further argument.

Such a prospect may be looming in view of concerns voiced by the voluntary savings group that proposed legislation to set up a single new financial regulatory authority will undermine their special ethos and character.

Resentment is growing over what they perceive as a bid to regulate credit unions in the same way as banks.

They fear the Minister is seeking to change the terms of a Bill which would contravene undertakings given to the credit union movement last year.

While acknowledging the need for a regulatory body, they fear the Minister is planning to re-write a provision promising a degree of independence for the community-based league.

Already under intense fire over scrapping grants for first time home buyers, the Coalition can ill-afford the political fall out of yet another row with the credit unions.

It behoves the Minister to assuage fears that a voluntary community group, operating under not-for-profit policy, will not be lumped in with the commercial banks when it comes to regulation.

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