What is a Credit Union?
“A credit union is a financial institution…BUT with a difference!”
A credit union is a cooperative financial institution, owned and controlled by the members who use it’s services. Membership is open to everybody who shares the common bond. Credit Union elections are based on a one-member, one-vote structure.
Credit unions are not-for-profit and exist to provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money and to obtain loans and other financial services at reasonable rates.
Credit Unions are non-sectarian, non-political and continue the Irish tradition of co-operative self-help.
Credit Unions provide many of the same financial services as banks, such as savings and loan accounts, foreign exchange services, and much more.
Credit unions exist to serve their members. Banks and other financial institutions exist to make money for their shareholders.
While for-profit institutions must make profits for their shareholders, in a credit union any earnings in excess of operational costs and reserve requirements are returned to the members in the form of increased interest on savings, refunds on interest paid on loans or other new and improved services.
Credit Unions are led by a Board of Directors who give their service on a voluntary basis receiving no remuneration or other financial gain. They are elected from the membership at the Annual General Meeting. Membership of the Board of Directors is open to any member.
History & Overview
Mullingar Credit Union was founded in 1962 under the leadership of Father Finian O’Connor. From small beginnings it has grown to a position where it now plays a major role in the economic and social life of the town and the many villages and local communities that make up it’s common bond.
Mullingar is a community based credit union. It is managed on behalf of the members by an elected Board of Directors of which there are eleven members. The board delegates various responsibilities to committees, while the day to day business administration is left in the hands of full time professional Management and Staff. A Board Oversight Committee, directly elected by members, oversees the way that the Credit Union Directors perform their various duties and functions.
Mullingar Credit Union is one of the largest community based credit unions in Ireland. Our most recent financial statements for the year ended September 2014 show membership of almost 33,000, assets of €180.5 million, loans outstanding to members of €45.6 million and investments of €132.7 million. Loans approved during that financial year were over €19 million. During that year we contributed €80,000 to voluntary groups and organisations working within our Community.
At Mullingar Credit Union we pride ourselves on excellent service to our members. We endeavour to cater for the individual needs of each of our members and we aim to offer our members the best value in loans, return on savings and other services.
Mullingar Credit Union is affiliated to the ILCU. For more information about the ILCU and the history of the Credit Union movement in Ireland go to the Irish League of Credit Union’s website – www.creditunion.ie.
Mullingar Credit Union contributes to the work of the World Council of Credit Unions through its Supporter Program, helping credit unions in the developing world to improve the quality of life of their members and the communities in which they operate.
For more information about the World Council of Credit Unions and the history of the Credit Union movement worldwide go to the website of the World Council of Credit Union’s – www.woccu.org