Credit Union Act 1997


Number 15 of 1997


CREDIT UNION ACT 1997

REVISED

Updated to 1 March 2018


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of Credit Union Act 1997. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including Public Service Superannuation (Amendment) Act 2018 (2/2018), enacted 28 February 2018, and all statutory instruments up to and including European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Libya) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 52 of 2018), made 27 February 2018, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 15 of 1997


CREDIT UNION ACT 1997

REVISED

Updated to 1 March 2018


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

Credit Union Acts 1997 to 2012 : this Act is one of a group of Acts included in this collective citation, to be construed together as one ( Credit Union and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012 (40/2012), s. 1(2)). The Acts in this group are:

Credit Union Act 1997 (15/1997)

Euro Changeover (Amounts) Act 2001 (16/2001), ss. 6 and 9(3)

Credit Union and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012 (40/2012), other than ss. 36, 37, 48(2), and 56(3), Part 5 and Schedules 2-5

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1989, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act 2017 (22/2017)

Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 (29/2014)

Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013 (26/2013)

Personal Insolvency Act 2012 (44/2012)

Credit Union and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012 (40/2012)

Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011 (27/2011)

Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act 2010 (36/2010)

Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010)

Central Bank Reform Act 2010 (23/2010)

Markets in Financial Instruments and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2007 (37/2007)

Investment Funds, Companies and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2005 (12/2005)

Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2004 (21/2004)

Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003)

Euro Changeover (Amounts) Act 2001 (16/2001)

Central Bank Act 1997 (8/1997)

Central Bank 1942 (22/1942)

All Acts up to and including Public Service Superannuation (Amendment) Act 2018 (2/2018), enacted 28 February 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 32 of 2018)

Credit Union Act 1997 (Regulatory Requirements) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 1 of 2016)

Credit Union Act 1997 (Section 85) Rules 2010 (S.I. No. 515 of 2010)

Credit Union Act 1997 (Section 85) Rules 2009 (S.I. No. 344 of 2009)

Credit Union Act 1997 (Exemption from Additional Services Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 838 of 2007)

Credit Union Act 1997 (Alteration of Financial Limits) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 193 of 2007)

Credit Union Act 1997 (Exemption From Additional Services Requirements) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 107 of 2007)

Credit Union Act 1997 (Alteration of Financial Limits) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 546 of 2006)

Credit Union Act 1997 (Alteration of Financial Limits) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 453 of 2006)

Credit Union Act 1997 (Exemption From Additional Services Requirements) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 223 of 2004)

Credit Union Act, 1997 (Alteration of Financial Limit) Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 476 of 2001)

Credit Union Act, 1997 (Commencement) Order 2001 (S.I. No. 378 of 2001)

Credit Union Act, 1997 (Fees) Regulations 1998 (S.I. No. 155 of 1998)

Credit Union Act, 1997 (Commencement) Order 1997 (S.I. No. 403 of 1997)

All statutory instruments up to and including European Union (Restrictive Measures concerning Libya) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 52 of 2018), made 27 February 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 15 of 1997


CREDIT UNION ACT 1997

REVISED

Updated to 1 March 2018


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title and commencement.

2.

Interpretation.

3.

Orders and regulations.

4.

Expenses incurred by the Minister.

5.

Repeals and transition from the former law.

PART II

Registration and Membership

Registration

6.

Conditions for registration as a credit union.

6A.

Supplemental provisions relating to registration, etc., under section 6 of Principal Act.

7.

Application for registration as a credit union.

8.

Acknowledgement or refusal of registration.

9.

Effect of registration.

10.

Registered name.

11.

Change of registered name.

12.

Protection of use of seal and registered name of credit union.

Rules

13.

Rules.

14.

Amendment of registered rules.

15.

Rules to bind members.

16.

Provision of copies of rules.

Membership

17.

Requirements of, and qualifications for, membership.

18.

Appeal against refusal of membership.

19.

Expulsion and withdrawal from credit union.

20.

Remedy for debts from members.

21.

Nomination of property in credit union.

22.

Proceedings on death of nominator.

23.

Provision for small payments on death.

24.

Payments in respect of mentally incapable persons.

25.

Validity of payments to persons apparently entitled.

PART III

Operation of Credit Unions

Business and raising of funds

26.

General principles.

27.

Raising of funds by shares and deposits.

27A.

Protection of members’ savings.

Shares and deposits

28.

Shares: general provisions.

29.

Transfer of shares.

30.

Dividends on shares.

31.

Interest on deposits.

32.

Restrictions on withdrawal of shares and deposits.

Borrowing

33.

Power to borrow.

34.

Charges on assets of a credit union.

Loans

35.

Making of loans.

36.

Approval of loans.

37.

Appeal against non-approval of loan.

37A.

Member to receive written notice of loan approval.

37B.

Credit agreement in respect of loans exceeding €200.

37C.

Contents of credit agreements.

37D.

Notice of important information to be included in credit agreements.

37E.

Definition and calculation of ‘APR’ for the purposes of sections 37C and 37D.

37F.

Regulations for the purposes of sections 37A-37D.

38.

Interest on loans.

Other transactions

39.

Promissory notes and bills of exchange.

40.

Contracts.

41.

Acquisition, holding and disposal of land.

42.

Receipt for repayment of secured debt.

Investments etc.

43.

Investments.

44.

Special fund for social, cultural etc. purposes.

45.

Statutory reserve.

46.

Savings protection scheme.

47.

Insurance against fraud of officers etc.

Provision of additional services to members

48.

Power to provide additional services.

49.

The Registrar's approval of provision of additional services.

50.

Supplementary provisions as to Registrar’s functions.

51.

Requirements applicable to credit unions providing additional services.

52.

Appeal against certain decisions of Bank.

PART IV

Management of Credit Unions

Directors

53.

Board of directors.

54.

Directors: procedural provisions.

55.

Functions of board of directors.

55A.

Chair of board of directors, etc.

56.

Removal of director from office.

56A.

Board Committees.

56B.

Nomination Committee.

57.

Directors: supplemental provisions.

Supervisory Committee

58.

Supervisory Committee.

59.

Supervisory Committee: procedural provisions.

60.

Functions of Supervisory Committee.

61.

Supervisory Committee: removal from office.

62.

Supervisory Committee: supplemental provisions.

Officers

63.

Officers: principal posts.

63A.

Manager of credit union.

64.

Functions of treasurer.

65.

Credit officer and credit control officer.

66.

Officers: suspension and removal by Supervisory Committee.

General governance requirements

66A.

Governance arrangements in credit unions.

66B.

Remuneration policies and practices.

66C.

Reporting to Bank.

General provisions

67.

Credit, credit control and membership committees.

68.

Limitation of remuneration.

69.

Conflicts of interest.

70.

Required signatories etc.

71.

Confidentiality of information.

72.

Persons disqualified from acting.

73.

Giving of security by officers etc.

74.

Duty to account.

75.

Register of members and officers.

76.

Inspection of books.

Additional requirements for credit unions

76A.

Strategic plan.

76B.

Risk management systems and systems and control.

76C.

Risk management officer.

76D.

Compliance officer.

76E.

Operational risk.

76F.

Records management.

76G.

Information systems.

76H.

Management information.

76I.

Business continuity plan.

76J.

Outsourcing.

76K.

Internal audit.

PART IVA

Board Oversight Committee

76L.

Board oversight committee.

76M.

Functions of board oversight committee.

76N.

Election of board oversight committee, etc.

76O.

Board oversight committee: procedural provisions.

76P.

Board oversight committee: term of office and retirement.

76Q.

Board oversight committee: removal from office.

76R.

Board oversight committee: supplementary provision.

PART V

Meetings, Resolutions etc.

77.

The organisation meeting.

78.

The annual general meeting.

79.

Special general meetings.

80.

Notice of general meetings.

81.

General meetings: adjournment, quorum and minutes.

82.

Supplementing provisions as to general meetings.

83.

Special resolutions.

PART VI

Control and Supervision of Credit Unions by the Bank

General

84.

Functions of the Bank.

84A.

Power of Bank to make regulations.

85.

Assets and liabilities ratios and structures.

85A.

Liquidity.

85B.

Supplemental provisions to sections 85 and 85A.

86.

Control of advertising.

Regulatory directions and prohibition orders

87.

Power of Registrar to give regulatory directions.

88.

Procedural provisions relating to regulatory directions.

89.

Power of Court to prohibit continuance of certain contraventions.

Inspections and information

90.

Inspection of books and documents of credit union.

91.

Notice to furnish books, information etc.

92.

Investigations and calling of meetings.

93.

Provisions supplementary to investigations under section 92 .

94.

Inspector's report and proceedings thereon.

Supervisory powers

95.

Registrar's power to appoint person as director of a credit union.

95A.

Bank’s power to require appointment of additional director of credit union.

96.

Removal or suspension of directors and members of Supervisory Committee.

97.

Cancellation of registration.

98.

Suspension of registration.

99.

Appeals against cancellation or suspension.

Administrative Provisions

100.

Public file of a credit union.

101.

Fees.

102.

Classification of information.

103.

Delivery to the Registrar of documents in legible form.

104.

Delivery to the Registrar of documents otherwise than in legible form.

105.

Exercise of Registrar's functions.

106.

Annual report by Registrar.

PART VII

Accounts and Audit

107.

Financial year of a credit union.

108.

Accounting records etc.

109.

Systems of control and safe custody.

110.

Accounting principles.

111.

Annual accounts.

112.

Balance sheet to be available to members.

113.

Obligation to appoint auditors.

114.

Qualification for appointment as auditor.

115.

Eligibility of auditor for re-election.

116.

Removal of auditor by Registrar.

117.

Resolutions relating to appointment and removal of auditors.

118.

Resignation of auditors.

119.

Requisitioning of general meeting and circulation of statement by resigning auditor.

120.

Auditor's report, right of access and to be heard.

121.

Regulations relating to accounts and audit.

122.

Auditor's duty to report to Registrar.

123.

Penalty for false statements etc. to auditors.

124.

Annual returns.

PART VIII

Disputes and Complaints

125.

Settlement of disputes.

126.

Arbitration and procedural matters.

127.

Investigation of complaints.

PART IX

Amalgamations and Transfers of Engagements

128.

Amalgamation of credit unions.

129.

Transfer of engagements between credit unions.

130.

Statement for members relating to proposed amalgamation or transfer of engagements.

131.

Confirmation of amalgamation or transfer.

132.

Distribution to members.

PART X

Winding up

133.

Petition of Registrar to wind up.

134.

Winding up under the Companies Acts.

135.

Winding up by instrument of dissolution.

136.

Restriction on dissolution or cancellation of registration.

PART XI

Appointment of Credit Union Administrator

137.

Administration orders.

138.

Provisional administrators.

139.

Effect of administration.

140.

Termination of administration.

141.

Procedural matters.

PART XII

Appointment of Examiner

142.

Power of the Court to appoint examiner.

143.

Petition for protection of the Court.

144.

Powers of the Circuit Court.

145.

The independent accountant's report.

146.

Interim protection pending report.

147.

Effect of petition to appoint examiner on creditors and others.

148.

Effect on receiver or provisional liquidator of order appointing examiner.

149.

Powers of an examiner.

150.

Production of documents and evidence.

151.

Further powers of the Court.

152.

Incurring of certain liabilities by examiner.

153.

Power to deal with charged property etc.

154.

Notification of appointment of examiner.

155.

General provisions as to examiners.

156.

Hearing relating to missing property etc.

157.

Duties of examiner.

158.

Contents of examiner's report under section 157 .

159.

Repudiation of certain contracts.

160.

Appointment of creditors' committee.

161.

Proposals for compromise or scheme of arrangement.

162.

Consideration by members and creditors of proposals.

163.

Consideration of proposals by the Court.

164.

Confirmation or otherwise of proposals by the Court.

165.

Ending of protection.

166.

Revocation of confirmation on grounds of fraud.

167.

Disqualification to act as examiner.

168.

Remuneration, costs and expenses of examiners.

169.

Publicity.

170.

Hearing of proceedings otherwise than in public.

PART XIII

Offences and Civil Proceedings

171.

Offences: general provisions.

172.

Offences by officers etc.

173.

Fraud or misappropriation.

174.

Falsification of documents and other records.

175.

Furnishing false information etc.

176.

Recovery of costs and expenses.

177.

Liability of officer etc.

178.

Power of court to grant relief to officer etc.

179.

Judgments against a credit union.

PART XIV

Miscellaneous and General

180.

Credit Union Advisory Committee.

181.

Consultation.

182.

General regulations.

182A.

General regulations by Bank.

183.

Regulations to remove difficulties.

184.

Certain enactments not to apply to credit unions etc.

185.

Exemptions from stamp duty.

186.

Records and registers.

187.

Form, deposit and evidence of documents.

188.

Service of notices etc.

189.

Transitional provisions.

FIRST SCHEDULE

Matters to be Provided for in Rules of Credit Union

SECOND SCHEDULE

Form of Receipt

THIRD SCHEDULE

Credit Committee, Credit Control Committee and Membership Committee

FOURTH SCHEDULE

Supplementary Provisions in Relation to Regulatory Directions

FIFTH SCHEDULE

Supplementary Provisions as to Removal or Suspension by the Registrar of Directors and Members of Supervisory Committee


Acts Referred to

Arbitration Acts, 1954 and 1980

Bills of Sale (Ireland) Acts, 1879 and 1883

Building Societies Act, 1989

1989, No. 17

Central Bank Act, 1971

1971, No. 24

Central Bank Acts, 1942 to 1997

Companies Act, 1963

1963, No. 33

Companies Act, 1990

1990, No. 33

Companies Acts, 1963 to 1990

Consumer Credit Act, 1995

1995, No. 24

Credit Union Act, 1966

1966, No. 19

Friendly Societies Acts, 1896 to 1977

Industrial and Provident Societies (Amendment) Act, 1978

1978, No. 23

Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1978

Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851

14 & 15 Vict. c.93

Powers of Attorney Act, 1996

1996, No. 12

Statute of Limitations, 1957

1957, No. 6

Statutory Instruments Act, 1947

1947, No. 44


Number 15 of 1997


CREDIT UNION ACT 1997

REVISED

Updated to 1 March 2018


AN ACT TO MAKE NEW PROVISION IN RELATION TO CREDIT UNIONS AND FOR CONNECTED PURPOSES. [3 rd May, 1997]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Application of Act restricted (1.03.2013) by Personal Insolvency Act 2012 (44/2012), s. 135(2), S.I. No. 63 of 2013.

Set-off to be applied.

135.— ...

(2) Notwithstanding any provision of the Credit Union Act 1997, savings (within the meaning of that Act) of a debtor in a credit union shall be subject to set off in accordance with subsection (1) against a debt owed by the debtor to the credit union.

C2

Application of Act restricted (28.10.2011) by Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011 (27/2011), s. 49(7)(a), S.I. No. 548 of 2011, and as substituted (15.07.2015) by European Union (Bank Recovery and Resolution) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 289 of 2015), reg. 187(c)(iv), in force as per reg. 1(2).

Effect of transfer order — general.

49.— ...

(7) Subsection (6) has effect notwithstanding anything in—

[( a) the Credit Union Act 1997, or ]

...

C3

Application of Act restricted (28.10.2011) by Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011 (27/2011), s. 69(6)(a), S.I. No. 548 of 2011, and as amended by European Union (Bank Recovery and Resolution) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 289 of 2015), reg. 187(d), in force as per reg. 1(2).

Effect of appointment of special manager.

69.— ...

(6) A special management order has effect notwithstanding anything in—

(a) the Companies Acts, [... ] the Credit Union Act 1997 or the Central Bank Acts 1942 to 2011,

...

Editorial Notes:

E1

Responsibilities and powers for managing the performance and exercise of functions and powers of Central Bank under Act delegated to Registrar of Credit Unions by Central Bank Act (22/1942), s. 33AA, as inserted (1.05.2003) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003), s. 26, S.I. No. 160 of 2003.

E2

Act included within definition of “designated enactments” for purposes of Central Bank Act 1942 (22/1942), s. 2(1) and sch. 2 pt. 1 item 25, as inserted (1.05.2003) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003), s. 31 and as substituted (1.10.2010) by Central Bank Reform Act 2010 (23/2010), s. 14(1) and sch. 1 pt. 1 items 6 and 82, S.I. No. 469 of 2010.

E3

Previous affecting provision: power to designate powers of members to Minister prescribed (21.12.2010) by Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act 2010 (36/2010), s. 47(1), S.I. No. 623 2010; reference to Act deleted (28.10.2011) by Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011 (27/2011), s. 110(5) and sch. 2 pt. 5 item 51, S.I. No. 548 of 2011.

E4

Previous affecting provision: application of Act restricted (21.12.2010) by Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act 2010 (36/2010), s. 53(a), S.I. No. 623 2010; reference to Act deleted (28.10.2011) by Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011 (27/2011), s. 110(5) and sch. 2 pt. 5 item 56, S.I. No. 548 of 2011.

E5

Provision for the continuance in force of certain existing regulations made by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment under Act, capable of being continued in force by the Minister for Finance, made (1.05.2003) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003), s. 36 and sch. 3 para. 27, S.I. No. 160 of 2003.