FAQs

Q?

Who owns a credit union?

A.

Members own it. Every member has an equal vote in how the credit union is run, and can exercise this vote at the credit union AGM. Members elect a Board of Directors, also members, to oversee the running of the credit union.

Q?

Who can join a credit union?

A.

Once you satisfy the common bond criteria anyone can join a credit union.

Q?

What is a Common Bond?

A.

The common bond is the factor which unites the members of the credit union – it is what members have in common. Because of the common bond, all members have the good of their community at heart; they know and trust each other. The common bond for Rathmore Credit Union can be seen on this map.

Q?

Can I become a member of more than one credit union?

A.

Yes, once you satisfy the common bond, whether that be within a community (geographical), or industrial (employment), you can have multiple credit union membership. So ,that means you can have a local credit union account where you live and a credit union account through your work (where available).

Q?

Who regulates a credit union?

A.

The Central Bank of Ireland regulates credit unions in Ireland. Rathmore Credit Union is affiliated to the Irish League of Credit Unions (a trade representative body for credit unions in Ireland) and regularly provides copies of financial accounts to the ILCU, as well as to the Central Bank of Ireland. Rathmore Credit Union also has a Supervisory Committee whose role is to protect the interests of members, and to act as independent watchdog of the credit union. Rathmore Credit Union is audited by an independently approved auditor on an annual basis.

Q?

How secure are my savings?

A.

Credit Unions in the Republic of Ireland are covered by the Deposit  Guarantee Scheme which is administered by the Central Bank of Ireland. This is a scheme that can provide compensation to depositors if a credit institution is forced to go out of business. It covers deposits held with banks; building societies; and credit unions. The maximum amount a credit union member can receive under this scheme is €100,000.

The Deposit Guarantee Scheme covers:

  • current accounts;
  • demand deposit accounts;
  • term deposit accounts;
  • share accounts and deposit accounts with building societies; and
  • share accounts and deposit accounts with credit unions.

In addition to this, the Savings Protection Scheme (SPS) owned and operated by the Irish League of Credit Unions is also available to proactively intervene to protect members’ savings by making available financial assistance to help any credit union which may experience difficulties.

The Savings Protection Scheme (SPS) fund currently stands at €110 million.

Q?

What’s the difference between a credit union and a bank?

A.

Credit unions operate on a ‘for people and not for profit’ basis. Any profit made after operational costs are met is returned to the members. Members own the credit union. Banks, on the other hand, are owned by shareholders. Banks exist to make profit for those shareholders, and so are profit-focused as opposed to people-focused.