& Sean McMahon
Cavan Credit Union is set to close its sub-offices in Ballinagh, Belturbet, Kilnaleck and Killeshandra, The Anglo-Celt can reveal.
The announcement means that all of the sub-offices attached to the Cavan main office will close from April 30. What impact this development will have on the staff remains to be seen. The credit union said it is unfair to comment at this time as they are in talks with their staff.
In total Cavan Credit Union has a strong membership of 15,679. The number of members who carried out transactions in the sub offices to date from the January 1, 2015 is just 1,550.
Credit Union members, who have used the sub offices in the last year, are to receive letters outlining the decision which it says was taken by the Board of Directors “with regret”. The first of those letters were received by members this morning.
“This was a very difficult desision for the Board to make,” reads the letter, signed by Credit Union chairman Michael Cropp. “Unfortunately income from the branch offices has not been made sufficient to cover their operating costs. The Board is extremely conscious of its responsibility and accountability to the members therefore it is incumbent on the Board to assure the economic viability of every part of the credit union’s operations and to this end the board have deemed it necessary to take this action.”
It continues: “We hope our members will understand that this decision was not taken lightly. The Board hope that this action will result in a stronger, more efficient credit union which will be of benefit to all members in the future.”
The sub-offices in Ballinagh, Belturbet and Killeshandra were under threat of closure in April 2010, but they enjoyed a reprieve when the Board of Directors instead reduced the opening hours by 20 hours each - a saving of 40 staffing hours, and the staff were redeployed to the main office in Cavan Town.
At this time the sub-office in Kilnaleck had lain dormant for some years. However, with the closure in 2013 of the Ulster Banks in Belturbet, Killeshandra and Kilnaleck, there was an outcry from the community and the Credit Union responded by reopening its sub-office in Kilnaleck. They further extended the opening hours in Belturbet.
At a public meeting in Belturbet in March 2013, the credit union treasurer Vincent Walsh said they had committed to open on Fridays, as well as their usual Saturday opening hours. He said they would continue to expand services in the town but this was determined by the level of customers coming through its doors.
It appears that they didn’t get the footfall to justify, from an economic basis, the offices remaining open.
Credit Unions elsewhere in the county are run independently of Cavan Credit Union Ltd and are not impacted by this decision.
Full Credit Union statement
The following is the full statement to The Anglo-Celt from a Cavan Credit Union spokesperson:
"The Board of Directors of Cavan Credit Union Ltd. advises that it is with regret that the credit union has decided to close its sub offices in Ballinagh, Belturbet, Kilnaleck and Killeshandra with effect from 30th April 2016.
"We would like to reassure members that Cavan Credit Union is fully committed to operating in the community and that members will be able to undertake all of their business using their existing account at the Cavan office at 83 Main Street, Cavan.
"Members’ money remains safe and secure and protected by the Governments Deposit Guarantee Scheme of up to €100,000 per member.
"This was a very difficult decision for the credit union to take. Unfortunately business in the sub offices has not been sufficient to cover their operating costs. The Board is extremely conscious of its responsibility and accountability to the members therefore it is incumbent on the Board to assure the economic viability of every part of the credit union’s operations and to this end the Board have deemed it necessary to take this action.
"Cavan Credit Union very much regrets any inconvenience that this may cause members. The Credit Union Office at 83 Main Street, Cavan will continue to operate its current opening hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Wednesday 10am to 4.30pm and Saturday 10am to 1pm.
"Members can also log on to the credit union website cavancu.ie where they can check their balance, apply for a loan, transfer money from their shares to their loan, pay a bill or transfer money from their credit union account to a bank account.
"Members can make payments into their account over the phone using their debit card by telephoning the Cavan office. Members can also send the credit union a postal order or cheque by post payable to their account. If a member would like to set up a standing order to their credit union account, a staff member will be happy to assist them.
"The Board of Directors hope that our members will understand that this decision was not taken lightly. This action will result in a stronger, more efficient credit union with a more comprehensive range of services for members. We deeply value our members trust and support in this time of change.
"Any members that have any questions or concerns at this time, please contact the Cavan office at (049) 4331715 and a member of staff will be happy to help you."