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MEPs discuss expanding credit unions

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17 May 17

The European Parliament’s Credit Union Interest Group has met to explore growing the sector across Europe.

The meeting heard the Group’s Co-Chair Marian Harkin MEP (Republic of Ireland) and Vice-Chair Paul Tang MEP (Netherlands) speak in support of reducing regulatory burdens on credit unions so that more ordinary Europeans have access to credit union services such as loans, savings, and current account products.

Larisa Dragomir, Policy Officer for the European Commission’s Directorate General on Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, also addressed the Interest Group on the European Commission’s proposal to extend the exemption from the European Union’s Capital Requirements Directive IV (which is Europe’s version of the Basel III risk-based capital and liquidity standard) which is already enjoyed by credit unions in Britain, Ireland, Poland and Estonia.

ABCUL was represented at the meeting by Head of Policy and Compliance Matt Bland, who joined colleagues from the European Network of Credit Unions (ENCU) including the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), the National Association of Co-operative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) of Poland, the Estonian Union of Credit Cooperatives (EUCC), the Federation of Romanian Credit Unions (FEDCAR ), the Dutch Association of Cooperating Credit Unions (VSK) and the World Council of Credit Unions for a  roundtable discussion on reducing compliance burdens on credit unions.

Launched in 2014, the European Parliament Credit Union Interest Group is a forum for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to meet with credit union associations from across the continent to discuss the movement’s challenges and opportunities for growth. MEPs from Austria, Finland, the Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom who sit on the Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee are members of the interest group, and with 6 MEPs signed up, Britain is the best represented country on the Group.

Although the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in last year’s referendum and has now triggered Article 50, ABCUL remains fully engaged with EU institutions on the British credit union movement’s behalf until the UK’s EU membership formally ends.

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