Savvi Credit Union has been subject to an investigation by the Central Bank of Ireland, over matters which occurred between 2013 and 2017, which has resulted in a fine of €185,500. A settlement has been reached between the Central Bank and the Credit Union and the investigation is now closed.
The investigation identified three breaches. The first related to the issuing of long-term loans by Savvi Credit Union which resulted in a breach of the prescribed longer-term lending limit of 15% between June and December of 2017, when the rate reached 16.9%. The Credit Union reported the breach of the lending limit to the Central Bank soon after it occurred.
The second breach directly related to the first, and to a failure to have appropriate processes, procedures, systems, controls and reporting in place between January 2016 and December 2017 to ensure the longer-term lending limit was not breached. The Credit Union has taken steps to enhance its monitoring and compliance capabilities to address this. The rate has since regularised and, at under 14%, is currently within regulatory limits.
The final breach related to the payment of directors’ remuneration between May 2013 and September 2017. The Credit Union accepts that the payment totalling €28,341 over the above 4-year period was in excess of prevailing civil service guidelines and constituted payment contrary to the Act.
The Credit Union commissioned external experts to review its practices to ensure full compliance with its legislative obligations and has adopted all the recommendations made as part of this review.
One of the strongest credit unions in the country, with assets in excess of €370 million, Savvi Credit Union has no previous history of enforcement action being taken against it. Having addressed the issues identified in the investigation, its board is fully committed to a programme to ensure the highest standards of governance and compliance across the organisation as it delivers the most comprehensive range of services possible for its members.