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38 1976

BUILDING SOCIETIES ACT, 1976

PART VII

Miscellaneous

Registrar of Building Societies.

85. —(1) The Registrar of Friendly Societies shall, for the purposes of this Act, be the Registrar of Building Societies (in this Act referred to as the Registrar).

(2) Any power conferred by this Act on the Registrar to give directions and fix fees shall, except where the context otherwise requires, include power to vary or revoke such directions and to vary such fees.

Annual report by Registrar.

86. —The Registrar shall submit an annual report on the exercise by him of his functions under this Act to the Minister, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Industry and Commerce, and a copy of the report shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Guarantee by Minister for Finance of borrowings by societies.

87. —(1) The Minister for Finance may, if he so thinks fit, guarantee in such form and manner and on such terms and conditions as he thinks fit the due repayment by a society of the principal of any moneys borrowed by the society (other than deposits accepted under section 22 (3)), or the payment of interest on such moneys, or both the repayment of the principal and the payment of the interest, together with any incidental expenses arising in connection with such borrowings.

(2) The total amount of the principal remaining outstanding of any moneys the repayment of which is guaranteed under this section shall not exceed £20,000,000.

(3) Where a guarantee under this section is in force, the society in respect of which it is given shall, if the Minister for Finance so requires, give to him such security as may be specified in the request for the purpose of securing to him the repayment of any moneys which he may be liable to pay or has paid under the guarantee.

(4) The Minister for Finance shall, as soon as may be after the end of every year, lay before each House of the Oireachtas a statement specifying with respect to each guarantee under this section given during that year, or given at any time before the commencement of that year and in force at such commencement:—

(a) particulars of the guarantee,

(b) in case any payment has been made by the Minister for Finance under the guarantee before the end of that year, the amount of the payment and any amount repaid to him on foot of the payment,

(c) the amount of principal covered by the guarantee which was outstanding at the end of that year.

(5) All moneys from time to time required by the Minister for Finance to meet sums which may become payable by him under this section shall be advanced out of the Central Fund or the growing produce thereof.

(6) The Minister for Finance may, for the purpose of providing for the advance of sums out of the Central Fund under this section, borrow on the security of the Central Fund or the growing produce thereof any sums required for that purpose and, for the purpose of such borrowing, may create and issue securities bearing such rate of interest and subject to conditions as to repayment, redemption or otherwise as he thinks fit, and shall pay all moneys so borrowed into the Exchequer.

(7) The principal of and interest on all securities issued under subsection (6) and the expenses incurred in connection with the issue of such securities shall be charged on and payable out of the Central Fund or the growing produce thereof.

(8) Moneys paid by the Minister for Finance under a guarantee under this section shall be repaid to him (with interest thereon at such rate or rates as he determines) by the society in respect of which the guarantee was given within two years from the date of the advance of the moneys out of the Central Fund.

(9) Where the whole or any part of moneys required by subsection (8) to be repaid to the Minister for Finance has not been paid in accordance with that subsection, the amount so remaining outstanding shall be repaid to the Central Fund out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

(10) Notwithstanding the provision of moneys under subsection (9) to repay the amount to the Central Fund, the society concerned shall remain liable to the Minister for Finance in respect of that amount and that amount (with interest thereon at such rate or rates as the Minister for Finance determines) shall be repaid to the Minister for Finance by the society at such times and in such instalments as he determines and, in default of such repayments and without prejudice to any other method of recovery, shall be recoverable as a simple contract debt in a court of competent jurisdiction from the society concerned.

(11) Moneys paid by a society under subsection (8) or (10) shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance thinks fit.

(12) The powers conferred by subsections (1) and (2) shall be deemed to authorise the guarantee by the Minister for Finance of any moneys borrowed by a society from a bank since the 18th day of October, 1973.

Financial year of a society.

88. —A society the financial year of which does not end on a 31st day of December shall, as soon as practicable after the commencement of this section, alter its financial year to the year ending on that date by making up its accounts for one period of more than six months and not more than 18 months ending on a 31st day of December.

Provisions as to evidence.

89. —(1) A certificate of incorporation or of registration or other document relating to a society, purporting to be signed by the Registrar, shall, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, be deemed to have been signed by the Registrar and shall be received in evidence accordingly.

(2) A printed document purporting to be a copy of the rules of a society and certified by an officer of the society to be a true copy of its registered rules shall, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, be deemed to be a true copy of its rules and shall be received in evidence accordingly.

Form of registers, records and books of account.

90. —(1) Any register, record or book of account required by this Act to be kept by a society or by the Registrar may be kept either by making entries in bound books or by recording the matters in question in any other manner.

(2) Where any register, record or book of account required to be kept by a society is not kept by making entries in a bound book but by some other means, adequate precautions shall be taken by the person required to keep the register, record or book for guarding against falsification and for facilitating the discovery of any such falsification.

Exemption from stamp duty.

91. —Stamp duty shall not be payable on any of the following instruments—

(a) any transfer of a share in a society;

(b) any bond or other security (other than a mortgage) to be given to, or on account of, a society or by an officer of a society;

(c) any order on an officer of a society for payment of money to a member;

(d) any instrument appointing an agent of a society or revoking such an appointment;

(e) any other instrument or document other than a mortgage, required or authorised to be given, issued, signed, made or produced in pursuance of this Act, or of the rules of a society.

Offences.

92. —(1) A person who or a society which contravenes a requirement of or under this Act or fails to comply with a requirement of this Act, including in either case a requirement in regulations made under this Act and including any direction given by the Registrar in pursuance of his powers under this Act but excluding any requirement in respect of which an offence is provided for failure to comply with the requirement, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £100; or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £5,000,

and if the contravention or failure in respect of which he or it was convicted is continued after the conviction he or it shall be guilty of a further offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding £250 for each day on which the contravention or failure is so continued.

(2) Where an offence under this Act is committed by a society or by a person purporting to act on behalf of a society and is proved to have been so committed with the consent or approval of, or to have been facilitated by any wilful neglect on the part of, any person who is an officer of the society, that person shall also be guilty of the offence.

(3) Where a loan is made in contravention of any requirement of or under this Act (including a requirement in any regulations made under this Act) the directors of the society who authorised the loan shall be jointly and severally liable for any loss on the loan occasioned to the society.

Provisions relating to judgments against a society.

93. —(1) Whenever a person (in this section referred to as a judgment creditor) obtains in any court in the State a judgment, order or decree against a society for the payment of a sum of money due to the judgment creditor by the society, the registrar or clerk of the court concerned shall notify the Registrar as soon as may be of the judgment, order or decree and of its terms and of any appeal against the judgment, order or decree and of the result thereof.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), if within the period of twenty-one days beginning on the date of the judgment, order or decree, the society does not pay all moneys due (or, in the case of costs, at the option of the society, give security therefor in lieu of payment) or satisfy all claims under the judgment, order or decree, the society shall be deemed to be unable to meet its obligations to its creditors and for the purposes of section 95 to be unable to pay its debts.

(3) If an appeal is instituted in any court against the judgment, order or decree, that court or the court by which the judgment, order or decree was made may by order postpone the application of subsection (2) for such period and, subject to subsection (4), on such terms as the court concerned may fix and specify in the order.

(4) If a court makes an order under subsection (3), it may require the society to which the order relates, either, as that court thinks fit, to lodge in court an amount equal to the amount of all moneys due under the judgment, order or decree (or such lesser amount as the court may direct) or to give such security as the court may determine for the payment to the judgment creditor of all such moneys, together with, in either case, such further sum or security for the costs of the appeal as the court shall consider just.

(5) An order under subsection (3) may be varied or revoked by the court that made it or before which an appeal in relation to it is brought.

Suspension and cancellation of registration.

94. —(1) (a) Where the Registrar is satisfied that a society has wilfully and after notice from the Registrar violated any provision of this Act or failed to comply with a requirement of or under this Act, he may suspend the registration of the society for a period of not more than three months and may extend the suspension from time to time by not more than three months on each occasion.

(b) Where the Registrar is satisfied that a society has ceased to function, he may cancel the registration of the society.

(2) As soon as practicable after a cancellation or suspension under this section takes effect, the Registrar shall cause a notice of the cancellation or suspension to be published in Iris Oifigiúil and in at least one daily newspaper published in the State and circulating in the area in which the chief office of the society is situated.

(3) The Registrar shall, as soon as may be after a cancellation or suspension under this section, notify the Central Bank of the cancellation or suspension.

(4) Where the registration of a society is cancelled or suspended under this section the society may, within the period of two months beginning on the date of receipt of the Registrar's decision, appeal to the Court and the Court may, if it thinks proper, set aside the cancellation or suspension.

(5) Without prejudice to any other provision of this section, the Registrar may cancel the registration of a society at the society's request, evidenced in such manner as he may direct.

(6) Where the registration of a society is cancelled or suspended under this section, the society shall, subject to subsection (4), cease from the coming into effect of the cancellation or suspension (and, in the case of a suspension, for as long as it continues) to enjoy the privileges of a society.

(7) Subsection (6) shall have effect without prejudice to any liability actually incurred by the society and any such liability may be enforced against the society as if the cancellation or suspension had not taken place.

Winding up.

95. —(1) Subject to this section, a society may be wound up in accordance with Part VI of the Act of 1963, and accordingly that Part of that Act shall, subject to any necessary modifications, apply as if the society were a company.

(2) Notwithstanding section 213 of the Act of 1963, a society may be wound up under this section by the Court if—

(a) the society has by special resolution resolved that the society be wound up by the Court;

(b) the society does not commence its business within a year from its incorporation or suspends its business for a period of twelve months;

(c) the society is unable to pay its debts;

(d) the Court is of opinion that it is just and equitable that the society should be wound up.

(3) (a) Notwithstanding anything in section 215 (as applied by this section) of the Act of 1963, an application under that section for the winding up of a society may be made by the Registrar.

(b) Section 215 (d) of the Act of 1963 shall not apply to the winding up of a society.

(4) The winding up of a society shall not bar the right of the Registrar to have it wound up by the Court.

(5) Part X of the Act of 1963 shall not apply to a society and, notwithstanding anything in that or any other Act, a society may not be wound up except in accordance with this section.

(6) Where a society is being wound up, a person to whom a loan has been made by the society under a mortgage or other security shall not be liable to pay the amount payable in respect of the loan except at the time or times and subject (as may be appropriate) to the conditions set out in the mortgage or other security.

(7) Where a society is being wound up under this section the Court may on the application of the liquidator of the society order that the amount deposited by it under section 20 with the Central Bank, together with any interest accrued thereon, shall vest in the liquidator by his official name, and thereupon that amount and interest shall vest accordingly.

(8) The liquidator shall pay from the amount vested in him under subsection (7) to the persons maintaining deposits with the society the amount of each deposit (including interest credited to such persons) remaining due by the society to such persons or, if the amount so vested in him is insufficient for that purpose, shall distribute it to such persons in proportion to the amount of each such deposit so remaining due, and, before making such payments or distribution, the liquidator shall pay or retain out of the amount so vested in him—

(a) any such costs and expenses of the liquidator in relation to the amount aforesaid and to the payments or distribution to such persons as the Court may allow,

(b) any sum which satisfies any claim in relation to interest payable by the society by agreement on amounts deposited with the society,

and any amount remaining after such use of the said balance shall be included in the assets of the society for the purpose of the winding up.

(9) If the total amount so vested in the liquidator is not sufficient to discharge the claims of the persons among whom he is required by subsection (8) to distribute it, those persons may claim as ordinary creditors of the society in respect of the unsatisfied portion of their claims.

(10) Where the winding up of a society commences within one year after the society has changed its name, the former name as well as the existing name shall appear on all notices and advertisements relating to the winding up.

(11) In this section “company” has the same meaning as in the Act of 1963.

Building Societies Advisory Committee.

96. —(1) The Minister may appoint a body which shall be known as the Building Societies Advisory Committee and is in this section referred to as the Committee.

(2) The Committee may advise the Minister in relation to any matter affecting the operation of building society business and on any other matter relating to building societies referred to it by the Minister.

(3) The Committee shall consist of such number of persons, not being more than nine, representative of the Department of Local Government, the Department of Finance, the Registrar, the Central Bank, the Irish Building Societies Association and such other bodies as he may from time to time consider appropriate, appointed for such period as the Minister thinks fit.

(4) The Minister shall from time to time nominate one member of the Committee to act as chairman thereof.

(5) The Minister may at any time remove any member (including the chairman) of the Committee from office.

Savings, etc.

97. —(1) In so far as any order, regulation, rule, agreement, appeal, application, conveyance, decision, lease, loan, mortgage, payment or reference made or any approval, consent or direction given, requirement imposed, certificate or instrument issued or register kept, resolution passed, notice served or any other thing done under any enactment repealed by this Act could have been made, given, imposed, issued, kept, passed, served or done under a corresponding provision of this Act, it shall not be invalidated by any repeal effected by this Act but shall, if in force immediately before that enactment was so repealed, have effect as if made, given, imposed, issued, kept, passed, served or done (as the case may be) under the corresponding provision of this Act.

(2) The repeals effected by this Act shall not affect the registration or incorporation of any society registered or incorporated under an enactment so repealed, and any such registration or incorporation shall be deemed to be a registration or incorporation under this Act.

(3) Where any act or omission is an offence under an enactment repealed by this Act and that enactment provides a penalty for the continuation of the offence, the continuation of the act or omission after the commencement of this section shall be an offence under the provision of this Act which corresponds to the provision of the repealed enactment creating the offence.

(4) Where, in its application to a particular building society, a period of time specified in a provision (referred to as the repealed provision) of an enactment repealed by this Act has not expired at the commencement of the provision (referred to as the corresponding provision) of this Act corresponding to the repealed provision, the corresponding provision shall have effect as if it had been in operation at the commencement of the period.

(5) A reference in any document to an enactment repealed by this Act shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as a reference to the corresponding provision of this Act.

(6) Where the Registrar, after consultation with the Minister and the Minister for Finance, is satisfied that it would be in the public interest or in the interest of the orderly and proper regulation of building society business to do so, he may declare a society to be a society to which this subsection applies.

(7) The Registrar may not declare a society to be a society to which subsection (6) applies unless written evidence has been produced satisfying him that—

(a) the officers and members of the society are linked by trade, occupation or employment in one business undertaking,

(b) the funds of the society are used solely to enable members to acquire houses for their own occupation,

(c) no fee, emolument or other remuneration is paid to any officer of the society (other than an auditor) from the funds of the society,

(d) the society had been incorporated on or before the 5th day of December, 1965, and had begun to carry on business on or before that date,

(e) the society has not, since the 5th day of December, 1965, advertised for or otherwise solicited deposits or subscriptions for shares other than from persons in trade, occupation or employment in the business undertaking referred to in paragraph (a), and

(f) the society is able to meet its obligations to its creditors, has not suspended any payments lawfully due by it and is not in arrears with any interest due on shares in, or deposits with, the society.

(8) Where the Registrar declares under subsection (6) a society to be a society to which that subsection applies, such requirements of sections 20, 37 and 38 as he shall specify in the declaration shall not apply to the society.

(9) Where the Registrar is of opinion that all of the matters specified in subsection (7) no longer apply to a society, he may cancel a declaration under subsection (6) relating to that society and thereupon all the provisions of sections 20, 37 and 38 shall apply to that society.

(10) A declaration under subsection (6) may be varied by the Registrar after consultation with the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

(11) In this Act “under this Act” shall, where the context requires, include any Act repealed by this Act or the corresponding provision of such a repealed Act, and cognate words and phrases shall be construed accordingly.