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Following the advice of the Commission on Credit Unions’ report published last month, the Government is to set up a Credit Union Restructuring Board (the ReBo).

The report, which Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD said would ‘inform Government policy on credit unions for the foreseeable future’, examined key features of the credit unions in Ireland. Among other things, the report investigated the financial position of the sector; considered various alternative financial co-operative models used in other countries; and examined whether any of these models were applicable in Ireland. The key recommendations of the report were that credit unions be restructured; that a new legislative and regulatory framework be introduced; and that new governance requirements be set up.

Once established, the ReBo will facilitate and support the restructuring process, which is being done on a voluntary, incentivised and time-bound basis (over a maximum period of four years), and enable credit unions in Ireland to develop a more sustainable business model. According to the Department’s website, the role of the Board will be: to plan for the restructuring of the credit union sector; to assist credit unions prior to and during this restructuring; to consider and decide on restructuring plans submitted to it; to oversee the implementation of restructuring plans; and to oversee the operational functions of the ReBo.

The Board will include representatives from the credit union sector, the Central Bank of Ireland, the Department of Finance and a number of independent members. It will remain in place until December 31 2015.

The Minister has called for expressions of interest from suitable applicants for appointment to the Credit Union Restructuring Board. Submissions should be made before 5pm on June 8 2012.