News and Views
Minister of State for Finance launches the Report on Research into Credit Union Directors
Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Seán Fleming TD, this week launched ‘A Report on Research into Credit Union Directors’ at University College Cork’s Centre for Executive Education.
The Report was developed by the Credit Union Advisory Committee, which was appointed by the Minister to advise the Department of Finance on credit union matters.
The Report was published in 2020 and the planned launch was postponed due to COVID-19.
In 2022, the Credit Union Advisory Committee decided to revisit this research through the Addendum to the Report.
The research carried out by the Credit Union Advisory Committee involved a sector wide consultation and extensive engagement with individual credit union Directors. A total of 924 Directors participated in the survey and 49 Directors participated in the focus groups.
Some notable findings from the Report include:
· 88% of Directors either agreed/strongly agreed that the role of a Director made them feel proud.
· 87% agreed/strongly agreed that their role within the credit union movement is rewarding.
· Key challenges facing Directors include the time commitment demanded of the role and the level of responsibility expected from volunteer Directors.
Commenting on the research, Minister for State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions, and Insurance, Seán Fleming TD, said:
I welcome this Report as it gives credit union Directors the opportunity to directly voice their opinions. It serves as a reminder that volunteers are at the heart of the credit union movement. The recommendations from this Report have helped in my work in preparing legislation to help the credit union movement. I expect this legislation will begin the legislative process after the summer break. I would like to thank the Credit Union Advisory Committee and everyone involved for their contributions to this significant research.
Lorraine Corcoran, Chair of the Credit Union Advisory Committee, said:
The findings in the research are broadly positive and provide a greater depth of understanding into the issues and challenges facing credit union Directors. This is important in not only prompting further discussion in the sector but also in developing policy decision that can help credit union boards be more effective. While progress on the recommendations of the research is underway, the Credit Union Advisory Committee believes that stronger collaboration between the key stakeholders in the sector will further enhance the impact of the findings.
Professor Ursula Kilkelly, Head of the College of Business and Law, University College Cork, said:
I am delighted that the Credit Union Advisory Committee have decided to launch their research here in University College Cork and it is encouraging to see the strong turnout, especially from Cork credit unions. Undertaking research and analysis that provides an evidence base for policy development is a real strength of the College of Business and Law at University College Cork and I wish the Credit Union Advisory Committee well in their ongoing work to advise the Minister in further strengthening the credit union sector.