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The Credit Union business model in Ireland has a near total reliance on funds based income; interest income from the loan book coupled with income from the investment book. Less than 1% of overall income is generated from other sources. In other jurisdictions, Credit Unions have expanded the member proposition significantly and generate in excess of 20% of income from non funds sources such as insurances, investment and retirement products. and some other forms of lending.

The Intermediation workstream is reviewing how we might broaden the offer to members with whom we enjoy tremendous trust and provide them with access to a range of ethical financial services from their Credit Union. In doing so, the business model of the Credit Unions can be strengthened and made more sustainable.

The benefits of intermediation may include:

Credit Union Benefits Member Benefits
Better use of Credit Union assets
Diversification of income streams and less reliance on a limited number
Managing growth in Members savings
Access to ethical financial services and fair products
Opportunity to get financial advice from a most trusted source
Value for money and an alternative to profit seeking multinationals

The intermediation working group will:

  • Research different models for the introduction of intermediation into the Credit Union business model
  • Consider member & consumer demand for intermediated products
  • Identify appropriate partners and suppliers for Credit Unions in an arena where we lack the experience, expertise and infrastructure
  • Consider how this might be integrated into a viable business proposition
  • Outline the advantages and disadvantages of intermediation models and how outsourcing opportunities may address these
  • Detail a high-level roadmap to enable Credit Unions to consider and embark on the intermediation journey
  • Outline the elements the need to be considered in terms of financials & business case to support the introduction of such services

A successful outcome for this workstream will be the identification of a model which can be advanced by a group of Credit Unions for the benefit of all Credit Unions.