The current status of the business is “solid and secure”.
Following another year of strengthening and developing its balance sheet and financial reserves, Thurles Credit Union will inform the members of a good year’s trading at the annual general meeting, to be held on Tuesday 12th December next in the Anner Hotel.
Speaking to the Tipperary Star, Donal Scannell, C.E.O., described the current status of the business as “solid and secure”.
Thurles has consolidated its status as a Tier One credit union, with assets now in excess of €113 million. This maintains the positive upward trend of recent years, despite the many challenges that are a continuing feature of fiscal trading generally, and locally based businesses in particular. The world market determines what happens in financial circles in most countries and Ireland is no exception. But Mr. Scannell noted that Thurles Credit Union has long been set on a very firm foundation, a factor which has enabled it to face the rigors of trading through the recession years by prudent management and the magnificent support of its members. “I never cease to be amazed by the loyalty and support from all our members, and it is very gratifying for the directors, management and staff to reciprocate by way of growth and development each year,” Mr. Scannell said.
He pointed out that the accounts for the past twelve months have been approved by the Central Bank, the regulatory body for the credit union movement in Ireland. The Central Bank has also approved the financial projections up to 2020, as well as the strengthening of the regulatory and general financial reserves. He also said “The directors of the credit union are confident of the current strength and well-being of the business and the proposed payment of a dividend and interest rebate has received the approval of the Central Bank. This is the best possible tribute to be paid to all concerned in the management and strategy of Thurles Credit Union”.
The four-year strategic plan 2014-2018 is regularly monitored and has proven an invaluable aid in pin-pointing the way forward in critical areas. Arrangements are currently in place to upgrade the strategic plan for the period 2018-2022. However, he also issued some cautionary notes. “The reported recovery in the economy has been slow to impact on people’s incomes in our area although the accounts give strong evidence of our members’ commitment to keeping up to date with loan repayments, resulting in a low figure for write-off this year. In this context we will continue to help our members work through the many financial demands made on them. We have strengthened our control systems to ensure that the loan book remains in good health.” Mr. Scannell continued. “We are confident that we offer a first-class service to our members, who are our main priority now and always”.
During the year Thurles Credit Union introduced two new loan products i.e. Car and Student Loans at a special rate of 7.5%. The uptake to date has been very positive on these new loan products. He pointed out that the new system of accounting protocols known as FRS 102 is providing a better benchmarking for accounts going forward.
Mr. Scannell wished to acknowledge the work of the staff, all of whom have undertaken and continue to participate in a number of training courses, thus enabling them to maintain a first class service to the members. The staff also work diligently to help the members resolve their financial difficulties in true credit union fashion.
Savings have grown by 3.5m in 2017, with Mr. Scannell noting that member savings continue to be protected under the Government’s Deposit Guarantee Scheme. Arising from the prudent use of its financial resources, the directors will be recommending a dividend to all those with savings and a loan interest rebate to the members who have borrowings and have kept their loan repayments up to date.
At management level, Thurles Credit Union has met all of the stringent regulatory and governance requirements of a modern financial corporation, and maintains a strong and professional relationship with the Central Bank. It has also developed an IT business and security strategy in line with the very stringent requirements of modern financial services.
“Our directors, board oversight committee, and staff have taken a proactive stance towards the many legislative and regulatory demands placed on the credit union in recent years, and I am confident that this positive attitude will continue to impact beneficially on the members into the future”. Mr. Scannell concluded by paying tribute to everybody involved for another excellent team effort during the year.