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Credit unions: Money is safe

Thursday, 18th May, 2017 1:01am

Gurranabraher Credit Union has moved to assure members that their savings will not be affected after gardaí confirmed that an investigation is underway at the financial institution.

Financial irregularities are alleged to have occurred at the northside institution, making it the second credit union this week to become involved in an investigation. A member of staff at Gurranabraher Credit Union has been dismissed, following an internal investigation.

Gurranabraher Credit Union did not give further details on the investigation but in a statement it confirmed that “no member is exposed to a loss as a result of this matter, and that the matter identified has no impact on the provision of services provided by the credit union”.

“Gurranabraher Credit Union is a financially strong and stable credit union, with over €96m in assets. The matter has now been referred by Gurranabraher Credit Union to An Garda Siochana, and the Central Bank has been informed,” the statement said.

Last Thursday, Synergy Credit Union in Fermoy confirmed that a number of “irregularities on a small number of member accounts” had been identified. In a statement, the credit union confirmed that all relevant authorities were informed as soon as the matter came to light, including An Garda Siochána.

It launched an internal investigation in September 2016 when internal monitoring identified the irregularities, believed to be a significant amount of money. The investigation has since concluded and “all affected accounts have been replenished to their correct balance. The credit union is insured to deal with such matters and no member’s savings were lost.”

The two large credit unions, who boast more than 31,000 members between them, have more than €150m in assets.

In a statement Synergy Credit Union said it “would like to reassure members that their savings are safe and secure and continue to be protected by the Government Deposit Guarantee Scheme”.

It continued: “The credit union continues to operate as normal. Synergy Credit Union’s balance sheet is extremely strong with reserves in excess of 14 per cent. Membership continues to grow and now stands at over 16,200.”

Synergy Credit Union confirmed that in September 2016 internal transaction monitoring identified potential irregularities on a small number of member accounts.

Following initial diligence by management to confirm irregularities, Grant Thornton were commissioned to undertake an investigation.

Gurranabraher Credit Union was founded in 1963, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013.

It is based on Baker’s Road and serves the Gurranabraher, Hollyhill, Knocknaheeny, Shanakiel and Sundays Well areas.

Synergy Credit Union was formed in 1965 and has branches in Fermoy and Watergrasshill.

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