Ballinasloe Credit Union members rewarded

A dividend of €774,000 on members’ shares plus a loan interest rebate of €327,000 is the reward to the credit unions members at this year’s AGM. This is the sum of money being given back to you the members by Ballinasloe Credit Union. This is an injection of €1,101,000 into the local economy this Christmas by Ballinasloe Credit Union.

The members’ pool of savings enables the credit union to lend to those who need to borrow. The borrowers pay interest on their borrowings. This interest is used to pay operating expenses and bolster credit union capital. The surplus is then returned to the members and this is what has occurred this year.

BCU continues to offer members a very competitive loan rate (10.16 per cent apr ) for everyday things like education/ third level, back to school, Christmas, car, holiday, home improvement, etc. Since 2000 BCU has granted €290,000,000 in loans to members. This is a very significant sum of money that has circulated in the local economy in the past 14 years.

Social Responsibility is one of the ten Credit Union operating principles. Through this core principal the credit union is a supporter of local initiatives - it is more than just a financial institution. Together with you our members the credit union promotes business, education and good community spirit. Through sponsorship of local events, donations to community groups and grants from the social fund, the credit union has assisted many local community groups and organisation and has since 2000 distributed in excess of €770,000 in grant aid.

Chairman William Duthie informed the meeting that 2014 was another very busy year for the credit union. “With a membership of just over 17,000 your credit union is working hard to ensure that it is providing the best service to you the members”. He also acknowledged that due to the economic crisis over the past few years the credit union has had to adapt to the challenges of implementing new legislative and regulatory requirements as set out by the Central Bank of Ireland. Credit unions remain vital and accessible providers of essential financial services to their members across the country. The ethos of the credit union remains the same today as when it was first opened for business in 1967 in Ballinasloe.

‘Not for profit, not for charity, but for service’, is its philosophy. The board, in making its decisions, is cognisant of this ethos and philosophy always and its intention is at all times to serve the best interests of its members.

Nationally, credit unions are undergoing significant change, with many credit unions exploring mergers - to date nearly 20 credit unions have merged successfully. In BCU they will also explore this option to ensure sustainability into the future. An amalgamation may enable the credit union to become more firmly rooted in its local community.

Credit unions will continue to be democratically owned by members and run by the board of directors - elected by the members.

Their attitude to their members will never change:

A credit union is a not-for-profit financial co-operative

At its core the credit union

Is a dedicated service organisation

Is created by the members

Is owned by the members

Operates on a not-for-profit basis

Is governed by an elected board

Serves only you - the member

At the AGM, a comprehensive overview of the credit union’s activities and financial statements for 2014 was presented to members. After seven years the recession may have turned the corner but the impact continues to affect members, their families, and the community in general. Throughout this period BCU has always tried to assist those that have encountered financial difficulties. As a result of the committed loyalty of the members, BCU was in a position to offer members’ a 10 per cent loan interest rebate in 2014. The net effect of the rebate is that €327,000 was given back to the borrowers. The credit union also delivered a share dividend of 1.25 per cent on members share accounts. So all 17,000 members are getting something back!

The credit union recognises and appreciates the loyalty and support which has always existed between its members and the credit union. It’s because of you the member that the credit union can continue to make to make a positive difference to our community. You - the member - make the difference.

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