Credit Unions report mortgage lending up 15%

February 22, 2024

Mortgage lending at credit unions was up 15% in the last three months of the year, with the mortgage book now over €500m for the first time.

The Irish League of Credit Unions represents 92% of the total active credit unions here.

Its quarterly results show an overall increase in lending across all areas of 2.2%, when compared to growth of 0.9% in the same quarter a year earlier.

In total, there were over 112,000 new loans issued between October and December, up 4%, which equates to over 1,200 loans issued every day.

The assets of ILCU affiliated credit unions stood at €18 billion at the end of December 2023.

This has increased by over 40% over the last 10 years reflecting the continued growth of credit union activity.

Similarly, savings in credit unions have increased to €15 billion.

The ILCU says arrears remain close to all-time lows. The increases in lending are in the context of exceptionally low arrears of 2.7%, which compares to a current 90-day mortgage arrears ratio of 4.1%.

David Malone, CEO of the Irish League of Credit Unions, said the results come at an exciting time for credit unions with the imminent partial commencement of the Credit Union (Amendment) Act 2023 and the Central Bank’s review of the lending framework.

Mr Malone said the results “clearly illustrate the existing scale and future potential of credit unions, and opportunities that they offer members all across Ireland”.

“Credit unions delivered over 110,000 loans in the quarter which is over 8,000 loans per week. To put that into context that’s €631m per quarter of lending to people or over €48m per week.”

He said the quarterly results show that not only are people availing of credit union services but that there is a growing pipeline of demand for loans which its members are ready to facilitate.

He said the Central Bank’s review of the lending framework is crucial.

“This is in the context of the dramatic increase in mortgage lending as changes are needed to meet customer demand, increase flexibility, allow credit unions compete on a level playing field and provide real competition in mortgages and business lending,” he said.

He said the ILCU has engaged with the Central Bank on its lending review but is now looking for targeted changes to allow more choice for consumers and to reduce the dominance of the retail banks.

“The changes we are looking for will allow more mortgages, remove crisis era restrictions and allow more business loans thereby enhancing competition in a safe and prudent manner.”

Article Source – Credit Unions report mortgage lending up 15% – RTE

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