Dublin Mid-West Emer Higgins arranged the meeting to showcase the credit union and all its initiatives.
The Minister was particularly interested to learn about the challenges and concerns faced by members and the credit union during the pandemic. Patricia Quinn, Lending team, enlightened the delegation in the various innovative member engagements undertaken in 2020-21 e.g., courtesy visits, postcard mailshot of local service cards and launch of online lending. The Minister was curious about financial difficulties faced by members during the pandemic. Kenneth Shiels, Credit Controller, laid out the steps taken by the credit union to assist vulnerable members during these troubled times.
The Chairperson, John Murphy, briefed the Minister on the success of our Community Fund, which in the absence of dividends, has distributed funding of circa €98,000 since 2020 in the locality to schools, various environmental groups, sports clubs and the Order of Malta. This along with the other initiatives outlined above has ensured that Palmerstown Credit Union has played a significant part in mitigating the impact of the pandemic among its members.
ichael Connolly, CEO, highlighted the issue of liquidity. He said “The regulation compels us to hold excessive funds in banks for less than 90 days for an eventuality that is not going to happen. Since the financial crash in 2008, our shares have increased consistently and, at no stage have they declined, yet we are obliged to hold millions of euros in banks and being are charging us negative interest rates on these funds.”