OPTIMISM AS MITCHELSTOWN CREDIT UNION PLANS FOR FUTURE
Members of Mitchelstown Credit Union described the atmosphere at last Thursday night’s AGM as ‘nothing less than a sea change’ from the same meeting last year. Over 300 members turned out at The Firgrove Hotel to hear president, Kevin O’Flynn, and treasurer, Sean Casey, outline the financial results for 2009.
In his opening speech Kevin O’Flynn spoke of a difficult year for the credit union because of the global financial situation.
“We have seen an increase in the number of members who are experiencing difficulties due to losing their jobs and the downturn in the economy.
"However, Mitchelstown Credit Union is here to help its members and I would urge anyone who finds himself or herself in difficulty to come and talk to us so that we can help. We will not tolerate members who do not communicate with the credit union.
"I would like to welcome our new manager, John Collins, and wish him every success, also I would like to say that we must remember that when you save with the Mitchelstown Credit Union you are investing in your community,” Kevin O’Flynn told the members at the AGM.
BAD DEBTS PROVISION
Outlining his treasurer’s report Sean Casey told members that Mitchelstown Credit Union was “Well set up for the future, there were no investment losses in 2009, we are in full compliance with the regulator’s guidelines and we have Central Bank deposits of €1 million,” Mr Casey said. Questions from the floor followed concerning the bad debt provisions which have increased by over €300,000.
“This is prudent bad debt provision, while we have written off over €500,000 in bad debt, this does not mean that Mitchelstown Credit Union will not be pursuing these debts to the fullest degree,” Sean Casey said.
Another question from the floor also highlighted the increase in the travel and subsistence in management expenses. Sean Casey explained that some of the expenses had been carried over from 2008 and that a new expenses policy has now been put in place. When asked if the travel and subsistence costs were in order president Kevin O’Flynn replied, “yes they were.”
A dividend of 0.5% was then proposed seconded and approved by the members at the AGM.
Other business on the night proceeded without delay and reacting to a question from the floor regarding the 50% reduction in shareholdings, one member asked if this was a sign of the recession or was it an indication of a lack of confidence in the credit union.
“Mitchelstown Credit Union is in a much stronger position than many other credit unions in the country. There has been a decline in the demand for loans and more people are living off their savings because they have lost their jobs, this is having an effect on business,” president, Kevin O’Flynn, said.
It was reported that the number of members has increased in 2009 to 18,305. As the AGM ended a number of members expressed their satisfaction that their confidence in the credit union has been restored over 2009.
“While the results are not what I would have liked, this is part of the economic crisis the country is in, I do feel that the people’s confidence in their credit union has grown since the AGM in 2008. There has been a huge change, it was I feel a very successful AGM and I am confident that Mitchelstown Credit Union will regain what it has lost and become once again one of the best in the country,” Michael White told The Avondhu.
SOME NOT HAPPY
However, not everybody was happy with the AGM, “The report is nothing but a creative accounting exercise. No matter what way you look at it there has been a write off of almost €1 million. As far as I know this is the first time in 43 years that the Mitchelstown Credit Union has recorded a loss. I have confidence in the credit union, but I am not happy with the way things are going, hopefully we can ride out the storm get the credit union back to the way it was,” Gerard Murphy from Ballindangan said.
Speaking after the AGM manager John Collins was happy with the proceedings, “The AGM was very positive and I would like to thank all those who worked so hard preparing for the meeting and to the staff for all their hard work,” John Collins said.
Treasurer Sean Casey said that Mitchelstown Credit Union was facing the future strong and secure, “ Confidence has been restored, the credit union is safe, secure and strong and all questions have been answered,” he said.
Speaking to The Avondhu after he had resigned as president Kevin O’Flynn was also happy with the way the meeting went, “I am delighted with the way the AGM was conducted and I am very happy that, under my presidency, we have restored confidence in our community credit union. I want to thank John Collins, the staff, the board and the executive for all their hard work,” Kevin O’Flynn said.
At a meeting after the AGM Jer Colbert was elected as president of Mitchelstown Credit Union, Dave Kent was elected as vice president, Sean Casey remained on a treasurer and Michael Coughlan was re-elected as secretary.
Monday 4th January 9:56am