One of Carrick on Suirâ€™s South Tipperary County Council members, Cllr Bobby Fitzgerald, is highly critical of the recent events surrounding IBRC (formally known as Anglo Irish Bank) and the liquidation of the IBRC in recent weeks.
In a statement, released to The Nationalist this week, Cllr Fitzgerald said he has serious concerns about funds invested by Credit Unions in the former Anglo Irish Bank, which was specifically designed for Credit Unions and named The Anglo Irish Bank Credit Union Bond 2005.
Cllr Fitzgerald goes as far as to describe the situation as like the Credit Unions â€œbeing muggedâ€ by the process and says it is â€œtotally unacceptable.â€
He explains his concerns: This Bond initially offered 100% capital security through an eight year, three months fixed term deposit facility, and, he says, it now transpires that over E70 million invested by Credit Unions on behalf of their members could be lost and worthless.
Cllr. Fitzgerald says this has put many Credit Unions both in South Tipperary and indeed the whole Country, in financial difficulties that could even make their viability unsustainable in the future.
He states that the recent Act by the Government to put IBRC into liquidation, which took place in February, has effectively wiped out these funds that belonged to ordinary Credit Union members.
Cllr Fitzgerald says he does not think that this was an intentional act by the government but it would appear that Credit Unions are consequential to the whole process, which is supposedly being done for the greater good of society.
â€œThis collateral damage is not acceptable and the Government needs to take immediate steps to redress and remedy the situation as soon as possible,â€ said the Carrick on Suir councillor.
Cllr. Fitzgerald is also highly critical of the Central Bankâ€™s role in this recent process, saying he believes that the Central Bankâ€™s role in handling the situation leaves a lot to be desired.
The Central Bank has been operating as a Regulator to the Credit Unions for the last number of years and was aware of the existence of these Bonds and the large sums invested on behalf of members, Cllr Fitzgerald sets out.
He goes on to say that the Central Bank was also aware of the pending legislation surrounding the liquidation of the IBRC and the detrimental consequences it
could have for Credit Unions and their thousands of members across the country.
â€œThey have shown in their handling of the situation a lack of real concern for Credit Union members, the ordinary public and their hard earned savings,â€ said the disappointed councillor.
Cllr. Fitzgerald concluded his statement saying that Credit Unions â€œhave been mugged as they believed that the IBRC, being in state control, that these funds would be safe and repaid.â€
â€œThe issue of leaving Credit Unions in the lurch, nursing serious losses
on their investment portfolios as a result of Government action was never remotely considered.
â€œIt was not thought through properly and is totally unacceptable to Credit Unions and their members,â€ Cllr Fitzgerald declared.