HM Treasury announces terms of reference for review of Northern Ireland financial mutuals
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Issued 19 February 2009
As announced in the 2008 pre-Budget report HM Treasury, working closely with
the Northern Ireland Executive, is conducting a review of the legislative
framework for credit unions and industrial and provident societies in Northern
The terms of reference are:
1. To identify the impact of the legislative and regulatory framework on
credit unions and industrial and provident societies in Northern Ireland, in
particular, to compare the position of Northern Ireland and Great Britain
members in respect of:
- The effectiveness of arrangements for depositor protection.
- The services that may be offered.
- Consumer information and education.
2. To consult stakeholders on recommendations for any changes to the
regulatory framework to strengthen member safeguards and structure of credit
unions and industrial and provident societies in Northern Ireland.
The review will build on the inquiry into credit unions undertaken by the
Northern Ireland Assembly Enterprise, Trade and Industry Committee. It will also
consider best practice in other countries.
The Treasury will provide an update on the progress of the review at Budget
1. Credit unions and industrial and provident societies with a registered
office in Northern Ireland are regulated by the Department for Enterprise, Trade
and Industry, Northern Ireland, under, respectively the Credit Unions (Northern
Ireland) Order 1985, and the Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Northern
Ireland) 1969. Equivalent mutuals in Great Britain are regulated by the FSA.
2. There are approximately 180 credit unions (with 420,000 members) and 170
industrial and provident societies (with 60,000 members) registered under
Northern Ireland law.
3. The different legal frameworks mean that members of credit unions in
Northern Ireland do not have access to the Financial Services Compensation
Scheme, although the Irish League of Credit Unions and Ulster Federation of
Credit Unions both have a savings protection scheme for their affiliated
4. Credit unions and Industrial and Provident Societies in Northern Ireland
are also more restricted in the range of services which they can offer to
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-02-20 14:36:51 in Business Articles