As of 1st September 2021, the maximum savings balance a member may have in Blanchardstown and District Credit Union will reduce from €50,000 to €30,000.
On behalf of Blanchardstown and District Credit Union (BCU), we would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to you for your loyalty and commitment to the credit union. We recognise that the strength of our credit union comes from our members and our first priority is to continue to provide the products and services you require from us at the standard we have established over the years. While the promotion of savings is a key principle of the credit union movement, and a practice that we encourage, a savings cap of €30,000 on the amount a member may hold in savings at our credit union is being introduced.
As you know, the co-operative basis of a credit union is to accept savings from its members which are then re-issued as loans to other members. The interest we receive from lending and any surplus interest that we can earn from investing the excess savings provides the funding that is used to run the credit union and any surplus is repaid to members in the form of a dividend on shares or a loan interest rebate. In recent years, BCU has performed well, and has paid dividends and loan interest rebates, based on our strong loan growth. There is, however, one issue that is proving to be a challenge for the credit union movement in recent years. That issue is the continuing trend of members to focus on saving and a general reluctance to borrow and this has led to the credit union setting the €30,000 cap on savings. There are three factors which led to this decision.
Firstly, regulations which govern the credit union sector require that each credit union retains 10% of its savings in a regulatory reserve for the long-term protection of its members’ savings. This means that for every €1,000 in new savings, the credit union must transfer €100 out of its current year’s operating surplus into its regulatory reserve. With the growth in savings we have experienced over the last number of years, this is having a considerable impact on the credit union’s surplus and capital reserves.
The second key factor is that interest rates on investments are globally at an all-time low, resulting in a considerable reduction in income from this source for credit unions. Indications at this point are that this situation is unlikely to change in the near future.
Thirdly, the regulator stipulates that credit unions need to maintain a substantial proportion of savings as liquid assets to meet the ongoing demands for share withdrawals, loan issue, payment of operating costs, etc. It is for all of these reasons that the board of directors of Blanchardstown and District Credit Union has taken a decision to implement a cap on members’ savings with effect from 1st September 2021.
The vast majority of our members will not be affected by this change. For those who will, there are a few possible scenarios as follows:
- If your savings balance is currently under the €30,000 cap, you do not need to do anything at this time.
- If your savings balance is currently close to €30,000 and you are paying into your account regularly, we would ask you to please make arrangements to terminate any such arrangement in a timely manner to ensure that the cap is not breached.
- If your savings balance currently exceeds the €30,000 cap, we regret that we cannot accept any further payments into the account, and credits to your account will be returned.
- If you are unsure as to your current savings balance, please access your account via our website www.blanchardstowncu.ie using your PIN. If you do not have an online user profile, you may apply for online access. You may also contact the credit union office to enquire as to your savings balance.
The board of Blanchardstown and District Credit Union will continue to monitor the situation carefully going forward and in the event of a material change in the factors which impacted this decision, the savings cap will be reviewed and any change will be communicated to you.
We look forward to continuing to serve your financial needs and if you have any queries on any of the above points, please call us on 01 8203 495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org