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Back to School Survey

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ILCU survey shows marked increase in numbers struggling with Back to School costs

  • 78% of parents finding Back to School spend a financial burden, a substantial 11% increase on last year
  • One third forced to deny their children certain school items because they cannot afford them
  • Parents now spending €1,399 per secondary school children – up €20 on last year
  • At primary school level, parents have reduced spending with costs down €50 to €949 per child.
  • Numbers getting into debt to cover Back to School costs remains steady at 36%, however average debt has fallen by €83.

More than three quarters of parents (78%) say the cost of Back to School is a financial burden. This is a significant increase on 67% in 2018. Parents getting children ready for secondary school are spending €1,399 per child. This is up €20 on the €1,379 being spent last year. Parents of primary school children are however spending less; €949 this year compared to €999 last year (€50 decrease).

Understandably, more parents of secondary school children are finding costs a struggle. Eight in ten (83%) say the back to school spend is a financial burden compared with 77% of parents at primary level.

The findings were revealed in a national survey of 882 parents of school children by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU). The survey was carried out by independent market research company, iReach Insights in June 2019.

While the numbers in debt over back to school costs remains steady at over a third (36%), parents appear to be more prudent with the debt they are running up. The average debt this year is €322 compared with €405 in 2018, a reduction of €83.

Looking at this in more detail, parents of primary school children say their average back to school related debt is €274, down from €367 in 2018. At second level, parents say their average debt is €357, down from €443 last year.

Of those parents in debt, almost a quarter (24%) say they have turned to a moneylender. While this figure is worrying, it is a 3% drop since last year. The average amount borrowed from moneylenders has also fallen slightly from €450 last year, to €439 this year.

Costs continue to be parents’ main concern at back to school time. Half of parents say it’s their biggest worry, up 4% on last year. One third (33%) say they will be forced to deny their children certain school items because they can’t afford them. This is up from 31% last year.

68% will cut out extracurricular activities, 30% won’t spend on school trips. 29% say new gym gear will get the cut while, for 22%, new shoes will be off the school list. This last item however is down considerably from the 42% in 2018.

Welcoming the recent publication of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills report on their examination of school costs, Paul Bailey, ILCU Head of Communications said, “We are calling on the Government to take more affirmative action to tackle the rising costs of sending children back to school. The recommendations outlined in the Joint Committee on Education and Skill’s report, if taken on board, will go a long way to easing this annual burden on parents.”

The most expensive item at second level was again books, coming in at €220 compared with €200 last year. Uniforms/clothing was next on the list at €200, up from €179 last year. School trips are set to cost parents €190 this year, compared with €159 last year.

At primary school level, parents appear to be cutting back on school lunches, with the spend falling from €142 last year to €102 this year. After-school care has also seen a drop from €140 to €117. Extra-curricular activities continue to be the biggest spend at €159. Up from €153 in 2018.

Uniforms/clothing is coming in as the second most expensive item at €133, up from €128 last year. This is followed by books at €123 – up just €1 on last year.

In general, parents say the biggest sacrifice they make in order to cover back to school costs is family holidays. 43% said they would reduce spending on a holiday, compared with 34% last year. 31% said they would cut spending on summer activities for the kids, similar to 30% last year. 8% said they would cut spending on food for the family, down from 15% last year.

Commenting on these findings, Paul Bailey said; “We are very encouraged to see that overall, the numbers approaching moneylenders has fallen by 1% since last year (3% down from 4%). The research also showed that those using credit cards to cover the Back to School spend has decreased by 5% (falling from 18% to 13%). We see this as a very positive response to the credit union message that they are an affordable, convenient and ethical alternative to credit cards and moneylenders. We would encourage all parents in need of financial assistance to contact their local credit union and forego moneylenders and credit cards completely.”

Job Vacancy – Teller Position / FT & PT Roles

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Teller Position / Full Time & Part Time Roles

Role: Full Time & Part Time positions available on a one-year fixed term contract.

The selected candidate will be responsible for carrying out a range of administrative and operational activities including Teller that contribute to the effective running of the credit union.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Good IT Skills
  • Excellent Administrative Skills & Attention to Detail
  • Excellent Communication & Interpersonal Skills
  • Experience Working in a Credit Union or Similar Financial Institution
  • Experience of Working with Cash
  • QFA, CUA or ACCUP Qualification will be an advantage

 

Application together with a detailed Curriculum Vitae, indicating which position you are applying for should be sent to:

The CEO, Limerick & District Credit Union Ltd., Redgate, Caherdavin, Limerick or by email to reception@lcu.ie

Closing Date for Applications: 5pm Friday 26th July 2019

Credit Unions are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

 

Limerick and District Credit Union joins Metamo

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Limerick and District Credit Union joins Metamo – a joint venture between 16 of Ireland’s largest Credit Unions and Fexco

Metamo will deliver improved service and products to Limerick and District’s 27,000 members

  • Metamo represents a €10 million investment
  • Credit unions joining Metamo represent over 480,000 members
  • Metamo will support credit union sustainability and improve efficiency
  • Research and development of new products and services for credit unions, supporting them in offering a wider range of financial products to their members
  • Establishing a central shared services hub to improve delivery capability for credit unions

Limerick and District Credit Union is one of 16 of Ireland’s largest credit unions who have today announced a €10 million collaboration with Irish based, international financial technology company Fexco in the formation of a new joint venture to be named Metamo.

Metamo is a 50:50 joint venture between the 16 investing credit unions incorporated under the name MetaCU and Fexco, one of Ireland’s largest financial services companies. MetaCU credit unions represent over 480,000 members from across the country – including 27,000 from Limerick and District Credit Union – and combined assets of over €3billion (c.19% of the sector).

The primary objective of Metamo is to support credit union viability and sustainability through the provision of a more complete and modernised suite of financial products including enhanced lending capabilities. Metamo is also uniquely positioned to develop more efficient operating systems for Limerick and District in areas like process improvement, risk management and technology delivery.

Caroline Long, CEO of Limerick and District Credit Union said:

“This is an exciting day for Limerick and District Credit Union which I am convinced will allow us to provide an improved service and set of products to our members. Limerick and District Credit Union is an integral part of several communities around Limerick City and becoming part of the Metamo joint venture will mean we can modernise to keep pace with other financial service providers.”

Speaking about the launch of Metamo, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD, commented:

“Credit unions hold a unique and special standing as one of the most trusted brands in the country. They continue to provide invaluable services to local communities promoting financial inclusion. I am delighted to see collaboration within the sector that will support its continued viability and sustainability.  Members of all credit unions stand to benefit from the enhanced products and services, more efficient operations and improved service delivery that Metamo will provide. Collaborative efforts for the sector can come in many forms and I am encouraged by, and supportive of, the many projects designed to drive the sector forward, including the venture being launched by Metamo. I would like to congratulate the credit unions and Fexco on this initiative and to wish them every success into the future.”

The initial focus of the venture is on collaboration between Fexco and the investing credit unions to identify and develop products and solutions required by members. Metamo will offer these solutions to all other credit unions in the country who are not part of the joint venture in order to sustain the continued development of the sector.

Joe O’Toole, Chairperson of MetaCU – the entity comprising the 16 credit unions investing in Metamo – said:

“Metamo brings unprecedented scale to any previous sector initiative and signals a new and exciting development in the financial services industry. The company will deliver new income streams and improved processes for the investing credit unions and has the potential to transform the entire sector.

“We identified Fexco as our partner based on their familiarity with the sector, having provided foreign exchange services to credit unions for over 20 years. In addition, we will benefit from Fexco’s technical expertise and commercial delivery focus. For Metamo, Fexco is a natural fit.

“The multi-million euro investment by the credit unions and Fexco in the establishment of Metamo is a significant vote of confidence in the future of these credit unions.”

Denis McCarthy, CEO of Fexco commented:

“Participating in Metamo allows Fexco to leverage two of our key strengths; strategic investment and new product development. Like the credit unions, Fexco understands the value of supporting local communities, indeed we remain loyal to Killorglin where the company was first founded, employing approximately 1,000 staff there today. We enjoy a longstanding relationship with the credit union sector in Ireland having provided foreign exchange services to them for over two decades. I look forward to broadening the scope of that work through the establishment of Metamo which, through strong collaboration, will ultimately safeguard the sector while delivering better products for members.” 

Metamo is based in Kerry with offices in Dublin.   The company is currently actively recruiting its senior management team having appointed Neil Hosty as CEO in 2019. Neil has over 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector and has held various senior executive positions in the Irish and US banking sectors.

Credit unions are held in high regard by Irish consumers, providing the best customer experience in the country according to Amárach Research, and topping the 2018 Reptrak survey measuring the level of public trust in an organisation.*

More information is available at www.metamo.ie

MetaCU Member credit unions:

Name County
Altura Wexford
Cara Kerry
DubCo Dublin & nationwide
First Choice Mayo
Killarney Kerry
Limerick & District Limerick
Mallow Cork
People First Laois/Kildare
Savvi Dublin
Skibbereen & Bandon Cork
St Canice’s Kilkenny
St Francis Ennis Clare
St Paul’s Garda Nationwide
Synergy Cork
Thurles Tipperary
Wexford Wexford

June Members Cash Draw Winners

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Our June Members Cash Draw Winners 👇

  • Joanne Hannan
  • Robert & Bernie Hyland
  • George Brew
  • Gerard Cummins
  • Carol Enright
  • Jean Hartridge
  • Jim & Isabella Morrison
  • James Blackhall
  • Mary Ryan
  • Ursula Whelan Burke
  • Tayna Naughton
  • Patrick Byrnes

Well done to all our winners.

#YourLimerickCreditUnion

May Members Cash Draw Winners

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Our May Members Cash Draw Winners 👇

  • John Dwane
  • Michelle Horan
  • Margaret Ryan
  • Margaret Meehan
  • Martin Fleming
  • Pauline Hartigan
  • Clare Haran
  • Gerard McKnight
  • Garrett SNR Ryan
  • John Shanny
  • Norah Bourke
  • Elizabeth Connors

Well done to all our winners.

#YourLimerickCreditUnion

May at Limerick CU

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In May, 101 new members chose to open accounts with us here in Limerick & District Credit Union.

We are actively lending, and last month, we issued €1,383,869 in loans to 371 happy members.

That’s an average loan size of just under €3,750.

#YourLimerickCreditUnion