Credit unions are non-profit, self-help cooperative financial organisations that provide simple financial services and are geared to attaining the economic and social goals of their members and their wider local communities. Credit union success in the United Kingdom (UK) has been somewhat patchy. In Northern Ireland (NI) the credit union movement is relatively strong; however, in Great Britain (GB) the movement has not been successful to date. Regulation in both regions was similar until 2002 when changes were enacted to the legislation governing GB credit unions. No such change occurred in NI as this region was struggling to achieve its own national governing identity. This paper provides background information on the credit union movement in both regions and discusses the impact that previous and proposed regulatory changes have had, and are expected to have on the performance and financial stability of the movement in the two regions. The authors conclude by suggesting that the forthcoming regulatory changes in the GB credit union sector are premature, recommending a period of stabilization before further change is promoted. In contrast the authors welcome the proposed regulatory changes being mooted for the NI sector, though suggest that caution be exercised in respect of joining the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (the UK deposit protection scheme) and in respect of promoting the use of grant funding.
|Translated title of the contribution||The development of credit unions and their role in combating financial exclusion|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Cooperazione di credito|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Dec 2009|
- Credit union
- financial exclusion
- Northern Ireland