Home » Central Bank of Ireland proposes minimum knowledge requirements for credit union workers
Economy Europe Featured News

Central Bank of Ireland proposes minimum knowledge requirements for credit union workers

Staff working at credit unions in Ireland will have to meet minimum knowledge and competence standards from next year, the Central Bank of Ireland has announced.

The expanded requirements, which were first outlined in the bank’s Minimum Competency Standards of 2017, will apply to a wider array of union staff and particularly to those involved in lending practices and deposits.

Until now, the standards have only applied to unions providing mortgage credit agreements and products as retail intermediaries, but will now include “all relevant in-scope credit union services”.

The standards have historically also applied to staff performing certain fitness and probity controlled functions, which has led the bank to also propose additional controlled functions for credit unions through adjoining amendments to its Fitness and Probity Regulations.

Both sets of changes are set to come into force on 1 October 2024, incurring a four-year transition period until 1 October 2028.

The bank says its proposals are “designed to enhance the skillset of credit union staff across Ireland”, while its director of financial regulation for policy and risk, Gerry Cross, acknowledges the “positive engagement we have had with the credit union sector and their educational bodies” during its consultation period.

“Applying these requirements to credit unions will help to build on the existing high levels of knowledge and expertise in the sector,” adds Cross.

“This will further strengthen the quality of the service provided to credit union members and underpin the current evolution in credit union business models.”

Ireland’s 204 credit unions are on track to play a more competitive role within the Irish financial market, primarily through the advent of the Credit Union (Amendment) Bill, which most notably, would enable them with a greater capability to lend to consumers and businesses.

With the bill working its way through the Oireachtas, the central bank’s parallel endeavour to raise the standard of credit union staff could enable the amendments to take hold with maximum effect.

Source: Fintech Futures