THE IRISH LEAGUE of Credit Unions (ILCU) has said credit unions provided some €1.1 billion in loans to their members between October 2011 and June 2012.
The ILCU said the Credit Union loan book was down 9.9 per cent in that period in the Republic and 1.5 per cent in Northern Ireland.
This decline was due to a “severe lack of demand and continued restrictions on lending”, the ILCU said.
Savings, on the otherhand, remained stable at €11.5 billion with Credit Union surpluses in June this year at €227 million in the Republic, up from €93 million in June 2011.
Provisions for bad and doubtful debts in Credit Unions have increased and now stand at €723 million in the Republic.
Despite this, membership has increased by 35,000, bringing the total number of members to 3.11 million members across 32 counties.
While fewer Credit Unions are showing a deficit compared to this time last year, The ILCU said “economic challenges including increased unemployment and shrinking household incomes continue to have a negative impact on operations and these factors are reflected through loan arrears and general inertia in lending”.
Jimmy Johnstone, President of the ILCU said it should be kept in mind that the personal insolvency legislation will have an impact on Credit Unions.
“As Ireland emerges from its current difficulties we will be there to support communities and people, like we have been for five decades.”, he said. “Just like when we faced those challenges in the past, our movement is strong, our core principles and aims remain and we are owned by the communities which we serve.”