Fermoy Credit Union lost over €600,000 on its investments as a result of the global financial crisis, it was revealed this week.
The institution’s annual general meeting, held in Fermoy Community Youth Centre last Tuesday night, revealed that the credit union’s investment income was €606,151 in the red this year, as opposed to 2007 when that figure showed a profit of €1,227,244.
While the figures represent a drop of over €1.8m in a year, Seamus Ahern, treasurer of Fermoy Credit Union told the 130-strong crowd that it is expected that much of the investment write downs will be recovered when an anticipated recovery in the market occurs.
While the write downs account for some of the 40% drop in income for the credit union this year, expenditure is also down some 31% and good news for shareholders came as it was disclosed that bad debt collection was up 50% on the previous year.
“The credit union is not a soft touch and is not to be treated as the last line of defence,” board chairman William Lonergan said, “That way of life, if you can call it that, has got to stop.”
Nelius Cashman, chairman of the credit control committee supported this message, remarking on how some people may “bury their heads in the sand” but will be prosecuted if necessary by the credit union.
Included in the details of Mr Cashman’s report it was revealed that in the last year 3 members in arrears served custodial sentences and that the credit union is currently taking legal action against 153 members.
“It is worth noting that all members paid up before the warrant for arrest was issued to the gardai,” Mr Cashman added. Both Mr Lonergan and Mr Cashman called on any members of Fermoy Credit Union who are in difficulty with their repayment to address the issue.
“Anybody in trouble for any reason can come to us and we will help in any way we can,” Mr Lonergan said.
At the AGM several members of the board of directors appealed for volunteers for Fermoy Credit Union to come forward..