New minister welcomed as credit union current account uptake on the rise

Joe Tobin, NSF chairperson, meeting Minister Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, newly appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, at the Credit Union Development Association Conference 2023 in Killarney.

Newly appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, was welcomed to the position by chairperson for the National Supervisors Forum (NSF), Fermoy’s Joe Tobin.

The Credit Union Amended Bill 2022 is progressing positively, according to Mr Tobin, who with the NSF is working on the bill alongside the Irish League of Credit Unions, the Credit Union Managers Association and Credit Union Development Association.

“We look forward to working with the new minister and commencing the bill as soon as possible. As a volunteer of Synergy Credit Union, I am delighted to be involved in that extensive engagement at national level at the Department of Finance as well. Volunteering is important because that is the heart of the Credit Union on the governance side,” Mr Tobin said.

Tributes were also paid to Sean Fleming TD, who previously held the position of Minister for Credit Unions.

“We’d like to pay tribute to her colleague, Sean Fleming who was the first ever Minister for Credit Unions. We had engaged extensively with Sean and in fairness, Sean brought the bill to where it is. We would like to thank Sean Fleming for all his hard work,” Mr Tobin added.


Pointing to the continual advancements locally, Pat Morrissey of Synergy Credit Union in Fermoy noted that digital transformations remain a key focus this year.

“The Board of Directors and the Oversight Committee set the strategy here for the Credit Union and one of their things is digital transformation. The current account is part of that. There is a great uptake in current accounts, especially since the closure of Ulster Bank. That’s actually picked up in pace now and people have moved to the credit union because of the cost of it,” he said.

Within the digital advancements, Mr Morrissey also pointed to personal lending enablement which allows members to upload details with a click of a button and see a decision made on a loan almost 24/7, getting ‘almost instant feedback’.

“The current accounts are fantastic. Between the mobile app, the online bank, the current account and this personal lending enablement, digital transformations are really forming the credit union movement. We see more and more people joining the credit union because of these new digital enhancements.

“We are essentially a community bank owned by the people of Fermoy. We are doing as much as a bank now with a view to looking to mortgages in the future,” Mr Morrissey added.