The enactment of the Credit Union and Co-operation with Overseas Regulators Act 2012 introduces a sweeping reform of the credit union sector with an ambitious and wide scale restructuring programme, rigorous corporate governance regulations and stringent financial and prudential requirements. Against this backdrop, the Central Bank of Ireland (the ‘CBI’) has published a draft Credit Union Handbook (the ‘Handbook’). In combining a number of legal and regulatory requirements and guidance  in one source, the Handbook seeks to assist credit unions in their compliance with the new regulatory framework.

The scope of the Handbook includes:

  • the Fitness and Probity regime for credit unions;
  • the Anti-money Laundering regime for credit unions;
  • the new governance and prudential requirements for credit unions;
  • transfer of engagements and amalgamations of credit unions;
  • existing requirements applying to credit unions contained in the Credit Union Act, 1997; and
  • other requirements that apply to credit unions arising out of their authorisation as credit unions.

The Handbook has been issued in draft format and credit unions are invited to engage and provide feedback to the CBI and Registrar of Credit Unions by 31 July 2013. It is anticipated that the final version of the Credit Union Handbook will be published in September 2013.