Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle: More credit unions may be in a position to offer current accounts, if interest is there

Pringle: More credit unions may be in a position to offer current accounts, if interest is there

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said more credit unions may be in a position to offer current accounts to members if they can gauge public interest in the service.

Deputy Pringle said: “As we see bank branches closing in towns and villages in Donegal and across the country, it seems a perfect time for more local credit unions to be able to step in and fill the breach with local community banking.

“I was speaking with a Donegal credit union the other day about moving my current account there and learned that they need a certain number of accounts to make the service viable for them.

“I would encourage members of the public who are interested in moving current accounts to their local credit union to approach their credit union and express their interest and see if it is an option for them,” he said.

Deputy Pringle has long highlighted the importance of credit unions on the floor of the Dáil, and has asked the Taoiseach to expand the remit and autonomy of credit unions, calling them, “the lifeline of many communities over many, many years”.

The deputy said credit unions must make an application to the Central Bank to be allowed to provide the service, and an awareness of local interest would assist them in determining whether to apply.

He said that while credit union directors and CEOs have the responsibility to develop and deliver services to members, the Central Bank has the authority to block or frustrate any such services.

Deputy Pringle said: “We have to recognise our credit unions for the invaluable institutions that they are. I believe credit unions must be able to provide the same financial services as banks, without the restrictions they currently face.

“To see more credit unions able to offer current accounts, in response to public demand, would be a good step toward this,” he said.

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