Credit unions in Ireland operate under credit union specific legislation. The principal legislation covering credit unions are the Credit Union Act 1997, as amended, and the Credit Union and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012, known collectively as the Credit Union Acts 1997 – 2012.
The Credit Union Act 1997 established a Registrar of Credit Unions and included a relaxation of common bond definitions, an increase in the duration and amount of savings and loans allowed and also permitted credit unions to provide additional services.
Following publication of the Report of the Commission on Credit Unions, the Credit Union and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012 was enacted. The 2012 Act implements over 60 of the recommendations of the Commission on Credit Unions across a range of areas, including:
- Prudential Regulation – including reserves, liquidity, lending, savings and investments.
- Governance – including the role of the Board, Chair and the Manager.
- Restructuring – providing for a process of amalgamations and transfers to be undertaken on a voluntary, incentivised and time-bound basis and overseen by the Restructuring Board, ReBo.
- Stabilisation – providing financial support to viable but undercapitalised credit unions.