Ex-Rush Credit Union manager barred from senior financial firm roles

Central Bank issues prohibition notice into Anne Butterly following investigation

Forensic accountants hired by the Central Bank to look into Rush Credit Union were unable to track down winners of 15 car draws, involving an outlay of €220,860, between November 2012 and April 2016. Photograph: North County Leader

Forensic accountants hired by the Central Bank to look into Rush Credit Union were unable to track down winners of 15 car draws, involving an outlay of €220,860, between November 2012 and April 2016. Photograph: North County Leader

 

The Central Bank has barred former Rush Credit Union manager Anne Butterly from carrying out senior functions in a regulated financial firm for an indefinite period following an investigation into her involvement in “unauthorised transactions” at the now-defunct lender.

Ms Butterly was suspended from her position at the Rush Credit Union in June last year by the Central Bank after investigations were launched into alleged irregularities at the credit union, which was put into liquidation in November with an estimated €2 million hole in its balance sheet.

The credit union’s accounts from August of last year reportedly indicated that €800,000 was the subject of alleged misappropriation. Forensic accountants hired by the Central Bank to look into Rush Credit Union were unable to track down winners of 15 car draws, involving an outlay of €220,860, between November 2012 and April 2016.

Most serious

“The [Central Bank] investigation into Ms Butterly has now concluded with the issue of a prohibition order of indefinite duration, which is the most serious possible outcome to a fitness and probity investigation,” the regulator said on Monday.

The case against Ms Butterly is now closed, though other related investigations are ongoing, according to the Central Bank.

The Irish Times sought comment on Monday from Ms Butterly’s lawyers at Gerrard L McGowan Solicitors in Balbriggan and Skerries in north Co Dublin. However, the firm said it would not be providing any comment on the matter.

The Central Bank said the outcome of this case shows that its “regulatory reach extends to individuals, and not just to firms”.

“Persons involved in managing or overseeing credit unions, whether paid or voluntary, must adhere to the regulatory requirements of the role,” it said.

“Through its supervisory interactions with credit unions, the Registry of Credit Unions has found that the introduction of the fitness and probity standards has contributed to an improvement in standards of governance in the sector. However, while many credit unions have embraced these requirements, the Registry of Credit Union remains concerned to see that changes in culture have not fully embedded in all credit unions.”

Last November, the Central Bank issued €22.3 million to Rush Credit Union’s 9,700 members under its deposit guarantee scheme.

In February, Progressive Credit Union, which has a number of offices in north Dublin, took over the lender’s €9 million loan book and also acquired its premises in Rush and Lusk for an undisclosed figure. The buildings were put on the market last year with a price tag of about €1 million.