Faced with a struggling economy, the Irish credit union community is looking for options to save as many credit unions as possible.
Some of Ireland's credit unions – community-based savings and lending clubs owned by their members – lent aggressively during the go-go years of the "Celtic Tiger" economy and are now struggling during a severe downturn.
On Sept. 8, the Centre for Co-operative Studies, University College of Cork, held a seminar in Cork, Ireland on the U.S. experience with CUSOs. NACUSO General Counsel Guy Messick, Mark Zook, Chairman of NACUSO and CEO of Maps Credit Union in Salem, Ore., Kirk Drake CEO of the CUSO Ongoing Operations, Ray Crouse NACUSO board member and president of the CUSO Allegacy Services, and Jeff Russell CEO of the CUSO TMG Financial Services all attended.
“Our colleagues in Ireland are facing economic and political challenges that accelerate the need for collaboration,” Messick said. “If they can develop the legal framework to enable everyone to work together, they have an excellent opportunity to preserve a vibrant credit union industry.”