Credit union lending up almost 14%, driven by mortgages

May 29, 2024

Lending at credit unions increased by almost 14% in the past year, driven by a significant rise in mortgage lending.

That is according to figures from the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), which represents over 90% of the credit unions here.

Its latest results show that around 1,800 mortgages were issued by ILCU-affiliated credit unions in the 12 months to the end of March.

The value of mortgages issued jumped 70% in the past year, with its mortgage loan book reaching €473m.

Across the entire credit union sector, the mortgage loan book topped €600m.

The ILCU said it is on target to reach €1 billion in mortgage lending over the next two years.

“That would see us entering into the top five mortgage providers,” David Malone, CEO of the ILCU said speaking on Morning Ireland.

In total, ILCU-affiliated credit unions issued €2.74 billion of loans in the year to the end of March.

This brings the total loans outstanding to €5.56 billion, up 13.6% on the previous year.

The report today also reveals that members’ savings increased by 1.8% to €15.16 billion.

Meanwhile, the assets of ILCU-affiliated credit unions stood at €18.1 billion at the end of March – up more than 40% over the last ten years.

“These robust financial results highlight the continued growth trajectory and future potential of credit unions, and opportunities that they offer members all across Ireland,” said David Malone, CEO of the Irish League of Credit Unions.

In terms of current account growth, over 1,000 new credit union current accounts were opened weekly in the first three months of the year.

Membership has also continued to grow with 3.25 million credit union members across the country, up 46,000 in the past year.

A recent Central Bank report published last month on the financial conditions of credit unions showed an increase in early stage arrears.

When asked if this is a cause for concern, Mr Malone said they will keep monitoring the situation, but are not concerned at the moment.

He said their arrears are still at historic lows at 2.7%.

“To put that in context, the Central Bank also issued a report in the last quarter in terms of residential mortgage arrears of dwelling homes which were at 4.1%, so you can see the credit union loans are much lower than that.

He said that is because credit unions know their members and who they are lending to.

“They are very conservative and very prudent when it comes to managing arrears,” he said.

Article Source – Credit union lending up almost 14%, driven by mortgages – RTE

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