Saving in Education Credit Union – Important Announcement
SAVING IN EDUCATION CREDIT UNION
Regularly saving every month is a good habit that helps to provide financial stability and provides a ‘rainy day fund’ for the unexpected. We encourage all our members to try and save a little on regular basis.
As members will be aware the past twelve months has seen unprecedented savings growth in Ireland.
In Education Credit Union we are seeing the impact of this with a large increase in savings. This is evidence of the loyalty members have shown to Education Credit Union, and we thank you for your continued support and commitment.
Unfortunately, high levels of savings can be very challenging for credit unions as has been covered by the media in recent months. Regulatory rules require us to allocate and hold an additional 10% of the value of all members’ savings in ‘Capital Reserves’. Put simply, for every €100,000 our members have saved with us, we must allocate €10,000 from our surplus to the reserve. Banks are also now charging credit unions negative interest rates on the deposits that we place with them increasing our costs and putting additional pressure on our surplus.
Credit union surpluses are typically used for dividends and investing in new services for members. However, as a result of increasing our reserves and being charged negative interest rates on deposits, our surplus reduces and this in turn impacts on our ability to grow and offer new services to our members.
The only way to address this issue, unfortunately, is to limit the amount of money members can have in savings in Education Credit Union. This approach is in line with the majority of other credit unions.
To help us to continue to support all our members and with effect from the 1st of April 2021, we will be introducing a savings cap of €40,000.
This Board decision has been made under Section 55 of the Credit Union Act 1997 (as amended), which requires that the Board set policies in relation to members’ shares and deposits including the setting of a maximum number of shares a member can hold and a maximum amount a member may deposit. The Board has agreed a small number of exclusions in relation to the cap specifically for those members who are 80 years of age or older.
What does this mean?
From 1st April 2021, the maximum level of savings a member can hold is €40,000.
How many members will this affect?
The cap has been set at a high level so it will impact as few members as possible (less than 2.7%) (and no members over the age of 80), but one which also allows us to best service our entire membership.
What impact will there be on those who have savings over €40,000?
We have already personally contacted all members who have savings in excess of €40,000 to advise them that we cannot accept any lodgement or regular payment from them (excluding payments into their draw account) which will further increase their savings. We have also required them to reduce their savings to the new savings cap.
Is this cap a temporary or permanent measure?
The savings cap will be reviewed on a regular basis and judged on its effectiveness and impact on members. If any decision is made to change the cap, members will be informed.
All other services, including loans, will remain available.
What impact will there be on those who have savings of €40,000 or less?
Existing members will not be able to add to savings over €40,000 and those with balances less than €40,000 may continue to save with us up to the €40,000 limit. Thereafter, we cannot accept any further lodgements that bring your account balance over €40,000.
Is EDCU the only credit union to impose a savings cap?
No. The savings cap is in line with recent similar moves by the majority of Credit Unions.
Will you be contacting those affected?
Yes. A letter has been posted to all members to inform them of the change and advise them of any necessary adjustment they may need to make.
Can I still apply for a loan from EDCU?
Yes. Due to the growth in savings over recent years, we have significant funds available to loan to members.
Are my savings secure?
All savings are secure. We are a financially strong and stable credit union, and your savings continue to be guaranteed by the Government Deposit Guarantee Scheme up to €100,000.
Is the credit union in difficulty?
No, quite the opposite in fact. Due to this growth in savings over recent years, we have significant funds available to loan to members.
Should you have further queries in relation to the savings cap please email email@example.com