Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Finance
Credit Union Services
66. To ask the Minister for Finance the position regarding the operation of the death grant scheme by credit unions; if same is supported by his Department and the Central Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2566/20]
Firstly, I am assuming that the Deputy's question is referring to the Death Benefit Insurance schemes operated by credit unions.
Many credit unions participate in Death Benefit Insurance schemes whereby a payment, intended to assist with funeral expenses, is made following the death of a member. Death Benefit Insurance is provided by insurance firms. The Central Bank has informed me that it is aware that some credit unions discharge some or all of the cost of the insurance on behalf of its members, while other credit unions have adopted a member pay approach. Central Bank credit union regulations do not place any specific requirements on credit unions that participate in Death Benefit Insurance schemes.
The Central Bank have also informed me that their vision for the credit union sector is “Strong Credit Unions in Safe Hands”. The Central Bank’s vision underpins its statutory mandate to ensure the protection by each credit union of the funds of its members and the maintenance of the financial stability and well-being of credit unions generally. In undertaking its statutory mandate and responsibilities towards credit unions, the Central Bank recognises the important financial and social role credit unions play in Ireland.
As Minister for Finance, I recognise the important role of credit unions as a volunteer co-operative movement in Ireland and the Government's priorities remain the protection of members' savings, the financial stability of credit unions and the sector overall; and the Government is determined to continue to support a strengthened and growing credit union movement. As Minister for Finance I have no role in the provision of Death Benefit Insurance by the credit unions.