SKIBBEREEN Credit Union marked its first official day of operations at Bandon Credit Union on Tuesday 21st.
At the end of last month, the boards of both credit unions agreed to transfer the undertakings of Bandon Credit Union to Skibbereen and the Skibb branch re-opened to the public on Thursday, June 23rd, after a brief closure to facilitate the transfer.
Skibbereen is now the largest credit union in Cork, spanning an area that stretches from the Mizen Peninsula to Innishannon. It is, in fact, one of the top 50 credit unions in the country, with assets of over €110m and 25,000 members.
The CEO of Skibbereen Credit Union, Donal O’Driscoll, said: ‘The merger copperfastens the role of the credit union in both communities and ensures that the future financial needs of all our members will be met.
‘By taking a more modern approach, we will ensure that Skibbereen Credit Union will continue to play a vital role in the development and growth of the community it serves, as well as offering our members a real alternative to traditional banks.’
The growth of Skibbereen Credit Union is the result of prudent investment and member loyalty, however Donal welcomed the fact that regulatory requirements have become more stringent as a protection for their members.
‘This provides us with the ability to grow and at the same time offer stability and security,’ he said.
‘We will also continue to lead the way in terms of offering competitive loans, providing a return on savings, and full online payment services.’
Credit unions are built on its unique community ethos and with Skibbereen there is a real sense that the management and staff do listen to the needs of its members.
‘It is from listening to our members that we were able to provide a truly personal service,’ said Donal. ‘But we are also continuously improving the range of products we provide in order to stay relevant to our 25,000 customers, including the 11,000 who are living and working in the greater Bandon area.’
The chairman of Skibbereen Credit Union, John O’Neill, said: ‘We have been working closely to ensure that all of our operations are aligned so we can provide a seamless transition for our members.
‘New systems have been introduced to the Bandon branch, which will ensure that all of our members can avail of a faster and more efficient service, and we are confident of a bright future for our credit union.’