Newbridge Credit Union directors complain of ‘information blackout’
Directors concerned about lack of ‘independent thought’ following imposition of special manager
President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said he could understand the anxiety of the directors, as they must know the depositors in the community.
Newbridge Credit Union directors have complained to the High Court of a “complete information blackout” following the imposition of a special manager by the Central Bank.
The credit union has not held its annual general meeting of members, there was a dearth of information and rumours were circulating locally, counsel for the directors Bernard Dunleavy told the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, yesterday.
The directors, he said, were concerned the credit union is going into its second year under a court-appointed special manager and there was a “complete information blackout from the members’ point of view”.
A special manager was appointed to Newbridge Credit Union by the High Court in January 2012 following concerns by the Central Bank about the credit union’s financial position.
Mr Dunleavy said yesterday the credit union directors were not objecting to the application by the Central Bank for the extension of the special management order for a further six months as that would be “unthinkable” but the board’s concern was it was not clear the interest of the members are the driving concern of the Central Bank.
He said the directors are concerned that all possibilities and alternatives are not being considered in the process being carried out by the special management.
Among the concerns of the directors was that there was no independent thought and reports prepared on the credit union were being prepared “by one half of the house for the other half of the house”. The directors are concerned that all options are not being considered, he said.
If, for example, counsel said there was a transfer order to another credit union, that would be done ex parte – with only one side represented in court – and the directors would only get 48 hours to comment on the application. Mr Justice Kearns said he could understand the anxiety of the directors as they must know the depositors in the community.
Counsel for the Central Bank, Paul Gallagher SC, said the agm had been postponed because to hold it would mean various information would be in the public domain and that would be difficult. He said the appointment of a special manager had brought enormous benefit to the members and the Central Bank had done unstinting work.
The extent of options being examined was immense and the suggestion the Central Bank would not do that, he said, had no basis. Mr Justice Kearns said it was appropriate and desirable that he extend the appointment of the special manager by six months.