The Lower Iveagh Credit Union’s hundreds of members have been assured they will get their money back after news emerged that the Dromore-based savings and loan company had gone bust.
Set up in 1995 and operating out of Dromore Orange Hall, Lower Iveagh Credit Union Ltd reportedly holds savings of around £400,000; it wound up on Wednesday November 19, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme stepping in to protect its 440-or-so members.
Though not associated with the Lower Iveagh Credit Union, Banbridge Credit Union nevertheless reported receiving a number of calls from concerned members of the public when news broke of the Dromore company’s demise.
The FSCS said the overwhelming majority of savers would get their money back within seven days.
People with less than £1,000 saved would receive a letter to get cash over the counter at their post office, while anyone with savings of more than £1,000 would receive a cheque.
Kate Bartlett, Director of Operations for FSCS, said: “FSCS is protecting Lower Iveagh Credit Union members. We’re ready to help.
“Your savings are safe and we will get your money back to you within the next week. The process is automatic so you won’t have to apply for compensation.
“We will pay up to £85,000, so every member of the credit union is protected.”
Those with loans from the union will continue to repay on the same terms.
The last set of published accounts for the Lower Iveagh Credit Union were for the year to September 2012 and its auditors said the loan and share balances appeared to be “materially incorrect”, adding they could not “quantify the financial effects of the misstatement” as they didn’t have access to customer passbooks.
They also reportedly found clerical errors and book-keeping mistakes.
The Credit Union in Banbridge has reassured members that it remains open and is completely unaffected by the closure of the Lower Iveagh branch.
Seana Lennon Manager at Banbridge Credit Union Ltd said: The credit union has been operating in this community for 46 years and we value all of our loyal members.
“We are delighted to see the familiar faces coming in through the doors and welcome all of your new members who have joined us in the past year.
“The credit union is here to help members get control over their finances, to advise and help them save and borrow responsibly. Many people are not aware of the benefits of being a member of their local credit union so we are welcoming everyone to call into our offices and speak to a member of staff who will be happy to talk to you about your existing account or about how to become a new member.
“We are community owned and run financial service co-operative that helps people in their daily lives, whether it be regular savings or a small personal loan.
“As many people in the country feel the pressure of increased bills and living expenses, it is important that they have alternatives to the high cost services of moneylenders- which often trap households into a cycle of debt.
“We want our members to know that we will put them first at all times and will continue to provide these local, accessible services well into the future.”