MiThere will be no local financial institution left to serve the 7,000 or so people living in the Ferrybank area by the end of this month, when St Dominic’s Credit Union closes its Fountain Street branch.

It’s understood there will be no job losses in the short term, as Ferrybank staff members will be absorbed into the Summerhill branch when that office commences Saturday opening, in mid to late March.

The Ferrybank branch, which serves members in the broader Ferrybank area and also adjoining districts like Slieverue and Kilmacow, opened back in 2010 in response to a growing demand for credit union services in locality.

However the loan book at the Ferrybank branch is understood to have steadily declined by almost 30 per cent in recent years, reflecting trends at Credit Union branches throughout the country.

Restrictions imposed by the Central Bank have resulted in credit unions being prohibited from lending to members who have loans that are extended for a full year, regardless of whether the loan is performing or not.

After that year, if a members’ ability to repay has been clearly established, the board of directors may approve a new loan of a maximum of €1,000 – and only in exceptional circumstances.

St Dominic’s Fountain Street branch is the second financial institution to shut up shop in Ferrybank in recent years: AIB closed their local branch back in 2012.

It’s understood that the lease on the credit union branch is up for renewal in mid March so the office is likely to close at that point, coinciding with the commencement of a 6-day week opening in Summerhill.

Michelle Clancycreditunion