South Dublin Credit Union eyes up further expansion

Bad debt figures fall but costs jump as community lender eyes smaller local group

Lending jumped 27.4 per cent last year at the South Dublin Credit union – a  merger of former credit unions in Stillorgan and Donnybrook. Photograph:  Colin Keegan / Collins

Lending jumped 27.4 per cent last year at the South Dublin Credit union – a merger of former credit unions in Stillorgan and Donnybrook. Photograph: Colin Keegan / Collins

 

South Dublin Credit Union grew its loan book by 27 per cent in 2017 and the credit union is considering a further expansion in 2018.

According to accounts for the credit union, which was formed by the merger, in 2016 of St Mary’s Credit Union Donnybrook with Stillorgan Credit Union, lending increased by 27.4 per cent in the year to September 30th 2017. The outstanding loan book stood at €11 million for the year, buoyed by a contribution of €1.4 million from Donnybrook.

Some €6.3 million in loans were approved during the year and the credit union reported net interest income of €1.2 million during the year, but its surplus fell by 15 per cent to €506,402, on the back of an increase in expenditure. Salaries and other management expenses rose from €766,000 in 2016 to €1 million in 2017.

In notes to the accounts Fred Austin, chairman of the credit union, said that it was “a very satisfactory result for the year”.

Bad debt recovered stood at €179,873 for the year, due to “many members” recommencing repayments on their loan contracts, and Mr Austin said that the union was confident that “over time, much of the outstanding bad debt will be recoverable also”.

The credit union wrote off €49,943 in bad debt during the year, down “considerably” on previous years.

The credit union grew its reserves to €8.7 million during the year, representing 16.7 per cent of total assets.

South Dublin Credit Union will pay a dividend of 0.4 per cent on shares for the year, and it is also recommending a 5 per cent interest rebate on loan interest paid by members during the year.

Expansion

Membership rose during the year, up to 11,321, and the credit union is eying up further expansion. Last year the credit union acquired the building adjacent to its main office at 63-65 Lower Kilmacud Road, and it is set to extend into this property. It is also looking to acquire a smaller nearby credit union.

As in other credit unions, members at South Dublin are restricted to €50,000 in any savings, plus dividends accumulated since 2004, although the credit union said in its accounts that it will review this during the year.