South Dublin Credit Union members urged to borrow more to ensure survival

Members told banks are now charging for investments and credit union needs to lend more

South Dublin Credit Union’s office in Stillorgan: South Dublin’s bank charges rose to €48,352 during the year, up from €32,064 in 2018

South Dublin Credit Union’s office in Stillorgan: South Dublin’s bank charges rose to €48,352 during the year, up from €32,064 in 2018

 

Members of South Dublin Credit Union, which has branches in Stillorgan and Donnybrook, have been urged to borrow more money from the institution to ensure its survival.

In his statement to members in the credit union’s latest annual report, chairman Paul Cooney said “banks have now started charging” the credit union for investments.

“Thus, it is important that we increase our lending,” he said. “I emphasise, to survive we need to lend more, so any members thinking about borrowing next year, your first stop should be to your credit union.”

South Dublin’s bank charges rose to €48,352 during the year, up from €32,064 in 2018.

The report shows that the credit union’s income rose to €880,626 from €864,736 a year earlier, but its surplus declined by 10 per cent to €489,195. This was due to a sharp reduction in investment income, which declined from €667,333 to €507,277.

Investments

Its investments amounted to €29.6 million at the year end, down from €37.8 million a year earlier.

South Dublin approved 1,162 loan applications last year, with a combined value of €6.6 million. Interest rates on its loan products (it does not offer mortgages) range in price from 5.5 to 10.5 per cent APR.

Total loans to members amounted to just under €12.1 million, up 2.8 per cent on 2018. The credit union wrote off loans to the value of €88,046 but recovered bad debts with a value of €136,966.

“This reflects members returning to and commencement of repayments on charged off loans,” the report states.

Its provisions for bad and doubtful debt stood at €721,015, a figure the board described as “extremely prudent”. The credit union’s reserves amounted to €9.4 million, which represented some 15.6 per cent of its assets.

South Dublin is one of the biggest credit unions in the State with 11,898 members. The annual report notes that its regulatory levy declined marginally to €71,004 while its share and loan insurance fell by 0.3 per cent to €140,984.