19 1966

/images/harp.jpg


Number 19 of 1966.


CREDIT UNION ACT, 1966


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Interpretation.

2.

Registration of credit unions.

3.

Application of Principal Act to credit unions and consequential provisions.

4.

Membership of a credit union.

5.

Appeal against refusal of membership of a credit union.

6.

Rules of a credit union.

7.

Keeping of books of account by a credit union.

8.

General provisions relating to shares.

9.

Receipt and withdrawal of deposits.

10.

Powers of credit union to borrow money.

11.

Loans by a credit union.

12.

Organisation meeting, election of directors, Supervisory Committee and auditors.

13.

Powers and functions of board of directors.

14.

Other provisions regarding board of directors.

15.

Remuneration.

16.

Prohibition of multiple resolutions.

17.

Powers and duties of the Supervisory Committee.

18.

Election of chairman, etc.

19.

Annual general meeting of credit union.

20.

Voting at an annual general meeting.

21.

Special general meeting of a credit union.

22.

Dividends.

23.

Reserve.

24.

Expulsion and withdrawal from credit union.

25.

Power of a credit union to effect certain insurances.

26.

Certain prohibitions on undischarged bankrupt and other persons.

27.

Credit Union Advisory Committee.

28.

Non-application of Moneylenders Acts to credit unions.

29.

Non-application of Central Bank Act, 1942, to credit unions.

30.

Use of certain words in names of credit unions.

31.

Use of words “credit union”.

32.

Pre-registration contracts.

33.

Registrar's power to petition High Court for winding up of a credit union.

34.

Prohibition on disclosure of certain information.

35.

Regulations.

36.

Non-application to credit unions of certain provisions of Principal Act.

37.

Amendment of other Acts.

38.

Expenses of Minister.

39.

Short title, commencement, construction and collective citation.

SCHEDULE


Acts Referred to

Industrial and Provident Societies (Amendment) Act, 1913

1913, c. 31

Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893

1893, c. 39

Central Bank Act, 1942

1942, No. 22

Statute of Limitations, 1957

1957, No. 6

Friendly Societies Act, 1896

1896, No. 25

Insurance Act, 1936

1936, No. 45

Companies Act, 1963

1963, No. 33

Friendly Societies (Amendment) Act, 1953

No. 28 of 1953

/images/harp.jpg


Number 19 of 1966.


CREDIT UNION ACT, 1966


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGISTRATION UNDER THE INDUSTRIAL AND PROVIDENT SOCIETIES ACTS, 1893 TO 1936, OF CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES (TO BE KNOWN AS CREDIT UNIONS) FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF THRIFT AND THE CREATION OF CREDIT, TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGULATION OF CREDIT UNIONS, TO AMEND AND EXTEND THE INDUSTRIAL AND PROVIDENT SOCIETIES ACTS, 1893 TO 1936, TO AMEND THE FRIENDLY SOCIETIES ACT, 1896, AND THE INSURANCE ACT, 1936 , AND TO PROVIDE FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE MATTERS AFORESAID. [12th July, 1966.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Interpretation.

1. —(1) In this Act—

the Act of 1913” means the Industrial and Provident Societies (Amendment) Act, 1913;

common bond” has the meaning assigned to it in section 2 of this Act and shall be deemed to include the relationship existing between a person having the common bond and a member of the family of such person who resides with such person in the same house;

member of the family” means father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, step-father, step-mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, husband, wife, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, step-son, step-daughter, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, son-in-law or daughter-in-law and, in deducing any relationship for the purposes of this definition, a person adopted under the Adoption Acts, 1952 and 1964, shall be considered the legitimate offspring of the adopter or adopters;

the Minister” means the Minister for Industry and Commerce;

officer” shall include a chairman, vice-chairman, director, treasurer, secretary, servant of a credit union or member of a Supervisory Committee, Membership Committee or Credit Committee of a credit union;

the Principal Act” means the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893;

the registrar” means the registrar of friendly societies;

share” means, in relation to a credit union, each sum of one pound standing to the credit of a member of that credit union in the register of shares required by this Act to be kept by that credit union.

(2) References in this Act to a member of a credit union present at a meeting thereof shall include a member represented thereat in accordance with subsection (3) of section 20 of this Act.

Registration of credit unions.

2. —(1) (a) Notwithstanding anything in the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1936, a society which may be registered under those Acts shall include a co-operative society which consists of persons each of whom has, in relation to all the other members of the society, not less than one of the common bonds set out in paragraph (b) of this subsection, and is formed for the following objects—

(i) the promotion of thrift among its members by the accumulation of their savings,

(ii) the creation of sources of credit for the benefit of its members at a fair and reasonable rate of interest, and

(iii) the use and control of members' savings for their mutual benefit.

(b) The common bonds referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection are—

(i) the common bond of association (other than for the purpose of forming or conducting a credit union);

(ii) the common bond of occupation;

(iii) the common bond of residence or employment within a particular locality;

(iv) the common bond of employment by a common employer;

(v) the common bond of membership of a bona fide organisation.

(c) The registrar may, at his discretion, register as a credit union a society the rules of which require a common bond or common bonds among its members of a nature not provided for in paragraph (b) of this subsection.

(2) A society registered by virtue of this Act shall be known, and is in this Act referred to, as a credit union.

(3) It shall be the duty of the registrar, on being satisfied that the appropriate statutory provisions have been complied with, to register a society to which subsection (1) of this section applies by issuing to it an acknowledgment of registration, which shall be conclusive evidence that the society is duly registered, unless it is proved that registration has been suspended or cancelled.

(4) Where the registrar refuses to register a society as a credit union or to register any rules or amendments of rules, an appeal shall lie from such decision to the District Court at a sitting thereof for the District Court District in which the society has or proposes to have its registered office and the decision of that court shall be final, save that any question of law arising in such appeal may be referred to the High Court for determination and an appeal shall lie by leave of the High Court to the Supreme Court from every such determination.

(5) If the registrar's refusal is overruled on appeal, an acknowledgment of registration shall thereupon be issued by the registrar.

(6) Notice of an appeal to the District Court under subsection (4) of this section shall be in writing and shall set out the grounds on which the appeal is based.

Application of Principal Act to credit unions and consequential provisions.

3. —(1) The provisions of the Principal Act are hereby applied to credit unions save in so far as is otherwise provided by this Act.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1936, or the Friendly Societies Acts, 1896 to 1953, the registrar shall not after the commencement of this Act register, otherwise than as a credit union under the Principal Act, any society the objects or proposed objects of which are wholly or substantially those of a credit union.

(3) If at any time the registrar is satisfied that any society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1936, or the Friendly Societies Acts, 1896 to 1953, other than a credit union is carrying on its affairs in such manner that its objects are wholly or substantially those of a credit union he may, notwithstanding anything in those Acts, direct that society to cease all its activities or some specified activities or wind up its affairs within a period to be specified in his direction or alternatively to register by virtue of this Act as a credit union within that period and such society shall comply with such direction within the period so specified.

(4) Subsection (3) of this section shall not apply to any society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1936, between the 24th day of January, 1962, and the 31st day of August, 1966, the objects of which have at all times been wholly or substantially those of a credit union.

Membership of a credit union.

4. —(1) Membership of a credit union shall be limited to and consist of the signatories to the application to register the society under the Principal Act and such other persons, having the common bond set out in the rules of the credit union, as have been elected members of the credit union in accordance with the rules and comply with such of the rules as relate to membership.

(2) A member of a credit union who ceases to have the common bond required of members of that credit union may retain his membership and voting rights therein and the credit union may continue to accept from that member money in respect of shares or deposits in the credit union and may make further loans to that member, provided that his total indebtedness to the credit union does not exceed the sum of his shares and deposits in that credit union.

(3) The acquisition and cesser of membership of a credit union subsequent to its registration under the Principal Act shall be governed by the rules; provided that—

(i) membership shall not be acquired by a person holding less than one share in that credit union;

(ii) an entrance fee of not more than one pound may be charged by the credit union; and

(iii) a person shall not be obliged by a credit union to pay more than five pounds in respect of shares or deposits, or both, therein in order to become a member.

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, any per son other than a natural person, the majority of the members of which are, and continue to be, eligible for membership of a credit union may be admitted to and retain membership of that credit union with the same rights and obligations as a natural person.

Appeal against refusal of membership of a credit union.

5. —(1) A person who applies for membership of a credit union in accordance with the rules of that credit union and is refused membership may appeal against such refusal to the District Court at a sitting thereof for the District Court District in which the registered office of that credit union is situated.

(2) Notice of an appeal under subsection (1) of this section shall be in writing and shall set out the grounds on which the appeal is based.

(3) A decision of the District Court on an appeal under this section shall be final, save that any question of law arising in such appeal may be referred to the High Court for determination and an appeal shall lie by leave of the High Court to the Supreme Court from every such determination.

Rules of a credit union.

6. —(1) The rules of a credit union shall be in a form approved by the registrar.

(2) The rules of a credit union shall not be amended except by a resolution approved by not less than two-thirds of the members of the credit union present at an annual general meeting or present at a special general meeting called for the purpose of considering a resolution proposing an amendment of the rules.

Keeping of books of account by a credit union.

7. —(1) Every credit union shall cause to be kept proper books of account relating to all sums of money received and expended by the credit union, the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place and the assets and liabilities of the credit union.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, proper books of account shall not be deemed to be kept in relation to the matters aforesaid if there are not kept such books as are necessary to give a true and fair view of the state of the credit union's affairs and to explain its transactions.

(3) Every record required to be kept under this section shall be preserved by the credit union for a period of six years after the date to which it relates.

(4) The financial year of a credit union shall end on the 31st day of December and section 14 of the Principal Act shall, as respects a credit union, be construed as requiring the annual return therein mentioned to be made out to that date, and to be sent to the registrar within one month after the annual general meeting.

(5) (a) The directors of a credit union shall lay before the annual general meeting thereof an account of the income and expenditure of the credit union for the period (in the case of the first account) since the registration of the credit union or (in any other case) since the preceding account, made up in every case to the end of the most recent financial year which has ended.

(b) The directors of a credit union shall cause to be made out and laid before the annual general meeting thereof a balance sheet of the credit union as at the end of the most recent financial year which has ended.

(c) Every account of the income and expenditure of a credit union shall give a true and fair view of the income and expenditure of the credit union for the relevant financial year and every balance sheet of a credit union shall give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the credit union as at the end of the relevant financial year.

(d) References in this subsection to an account of income and expenditure shall include references to an account of profit and loss.

General provisions relating to shares.

8. —(1) A credit union may issue to members thereof shares in the credit union as provided by the rules thereof, and such shares may be either withdrawable or non-withdrawable.

(2) A credit union shall cause to be kept a record (which shall be called, and is in this Act referred to as, the register of shares) of the shares held by each member, and the register of shares shall contain the particulars mentioned in section 34 of the Principal Act.

(3) A credit union shall not issue to a member a certificate denoting ownership of a share.

(4) Subject to subsection (7) of this section, a share in a credit union may be subscribed and paid for in the manner provided by the rules of the union; provided that all shares must be of one pound nominal value and that no share shall be allotted to a member until he has paid therefor in cash in full without any premium or discount.

(5) (a) All withdrawable shares in a credit union shall have equal rights.

(b) All non-withdrawable shares in a credit union shall have equal rights, and repayments in respect of such shares shall not be capable of being made except as provided by the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1966.

(6) Notwithstanding anything in the rules of a credit union or in any contract, the credit union may require not less than sixty days' notice from a member of his intention to withdraw a share in the credit union and a credit union shall not permit a withdrawal of shares while any claim due on account of deposits is unsatisfied.

(7) Notwithstanding subsection (4) of this section, whenever its board of directors so recommend a credit union may apply any sum standing to the credit of its reserves (other than the reserve required by section 23 of this Act) to the payment up of shares and may issue the shares to the members as fully paid bonus shares in the proportions to which the members would have been entitled if the said sum had been distributed by way of dividend.

(8) A member of a credit union shall not withdraw a share therein if upon such withdrawal the nominal value of the shares and deposits therein then held by him would be less than his total liability (including contingent liability) to the credit union, whether as borrower, guarantor or otherwise.

(9) A member of a credit union may, with the approval of the board of directors, transfer to another member a share in that credit union, provided that the number of shares then held by that other member does not exceed the limit imposed by or under this Act.

(10) No charge in respect of a transfer of shares by a member of a credit union shall be made by the credit union and such transfer shall entitle the transferee to such dividends in respect of such shares as are unpaid at the date of the transfer.

(11) (a) A member of a credit union, the proposed transfer of whose shares therein the board of directors have refused to approve, may appeal against such refusal to the District Court at a sitting thereof for the District Court District in which the registered office of that credit union is situate.

(b) Notice of an appeal under paragraph (a) of this subsection shall be in writing and shall set out the grounds on which the appeal is based.

(c) A decision of the District Court on an appeal under this subsection shall be final, save that any question of law arising in such appeal may be referred to the High Court for determination and an appeal shall lie by leave of the High Court to the Supreme Court from every such determination.

Receipt and withdrawal of deposits.

9. —(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, a credit union may accept money from a member on deposit in accordance with its rules.

(2) The total amount held on deposit by a credit union at any time shall not exceed the paid up share capital of the credit union at that time.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in the rules of a credit union or in any contract, the credit union may require not less than twenty-one days' notice from a member of his intention to withdraw a deposit.

(4) The rate of interest payable by a credit union on deposits of a particular class at a particular time shall be the same for all deposits then belonging to that class.

(5) A member of a credit union shall not withdraw a deposit therein if upon such withdrawal the nominal value of the shares and deposits therein then held by him would be less than his total liability (including contingent liability) to the credit union, whether as borrower, guarantor or otherwise.

(6) A credit union shall cause to be kept a record of the deposits made by each member, of any withdrawals of deposits made by him, and of the dates of such deposits and such withdrawals.

Powers of credit union to borrow money.

10. —(1) Subject to its rules, a credit union may, in addition to accepting money on deposit from its members, borrow money on security or otherwise from any source whatsoever and may issue debentures accordingly, provided that the amount so borrowed does not exceed in the aggregate fifty per cent. of the sum of the shares balance and the deposits balance of the credit union.

(2) In calculating the sum mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, a temporary loan obtained by a credit union from its bankers in the ordinary course of business shall be disregarded.

(3) A lender or other person dealing with a credit union shall not be obliged to satisfy himself or to inquire whether the limit on borrowing by that credit union imposed by subsection (1) of this section has been or is being observed, and any debt incurred or security given by a credit union in excess of such limit shall not be invalid or ineffectual solely by reason of any such excess except in the case of a lender or a recipient of security who, at the time when the debt was incurred or the security was given, had express notice that such limit had been or was thereby exceeded.

Loans by a credit union.

11. —(1) A credit union may make a loan, upon such securities (or without security) and terms as the rules may provide, to a member for a provident or productive purpose.

(2) Every application to a credit union for a loan shall be in writing and shall state the purpose for which the loan is required and the security (if any) offered therefor.

(3) A credit union may, subject to the rules, accept, in addition to other forms of security, a guarantee, or a pledge of shares or deposits in the credit union, by a member thereof in respect of a loan made by the credit union and such guarantee or pledge shall be deemed to be a security for such loan.

(4) A credit union may, subject to its rules, pay a loan to a member in fixed monthly instalments or in one sum and a member may repay such a loan in whole or in part on any day on which the office of the credit union is open for business.

(5) A loan shall not be made by a credit union to a member—

(a) unless the loan is approved by all the members of the board of directors or of the Credit Committee present at the meeting of the board or committee (as the case may be) at which the application for the loan is considered and the number of such members of the board or committee constitutes a majority thereof,

(b) for a period exceeding five years commencing on the date on which the loan or the first instalment thereof, (as the case may be) is paid,

(c) if on the making thereof that member would stand indebted to the credit union in a sum exceeding ten per cent. of the total assets of the credit union.

(6) (a) A credit union shall not make a loan to a person who is a member of its board of directors, Membership Committee, Supervisory Committee or Credit Committee except with the unanimous approval by secret ballot of a special committee present when the loan is considered, which special committee shall consist of a majority of the board of directors, a majority of the Credit Committee (if any) and at least one member of the Supervisory Committee, but shall not include the applicant for the loan.

(b) A credit union shall not accept from a person who is a member of its board of directors, Membership Committee, Supervisory Committee or Credit Committee a guarantee for a loan by the credit union to another member of the credit union.

(7) A credit union may charge interest on a loan made under this section but such interest shall not at any time exceed one per cent. per month on the amount of the loan outstanding at that time and shall in every case include all the charges made by the credit union in making the loan.

(8) The rate of interest charged by a credit union on unsecured loans granted at a particular time shall be the same for all such loans.

(9) The rate of interest charged by a credit union on secured loans granted at a particular time shall be the same for all such loans.

(10) Whenever a credit union charges or accepts interest on a loan at a rate greater than that permitted under this section, all the interest agreed to be paid by the member on that loan shall be deemed to have been waived by the credit union, and any interest paid in such a case shall be recoverable by the member or his personal representative as a simple contract debt and an action for the recovery thereof shall be deemed to be an action within the meaning of subsection (7) of section 11 of the Statute of Limitations, 1957 .

Organisation meeting, election of directors, Supervisory Committee and auditors.

12. —(1) A credit union shall have a board of directors and a Supervisory Committee.

(2) Not later than one month after the registration of a credit union the signatories to the application to register the credit union under the Principal Act shall summon by notice in writing to a meeting (which shall be known and is in this Act referred to as the organisation meeting) all persons who on the date of issue of the notice were members of the credit union.

(3) The notice required by subsection (2) of this section shall state the date, time and place of the meeting and shall, not later than seven days and not earlier than ten days before the date of the organisation meeting, be handed to each member or posted or sent to him at his address as recorded in the books of the credit union.

(4) The members of a credit union present at the organisation meeting shall elect by secret ballot not less than five members of the credit union to be directors thereof.

(5) At an annual general meeting of a credit union the members present shall by secret ballot fill any vacancy on the board of directors.

(6) At the organisation meeting and at each annual general meeting of a credit union the members thereof present shall elect by secret ballot three members to form the Supervisory Committee and to carry out such functions and exercise such powers as are assigned to the Supervisory Committee by or under this Act.

(7) The Supervisory Committee shall not include among its members the treasurer of the credit union or more than one director thereof.

(8) The members of the Supervisory Committee shall hold office until the conclusion of the next annual general meeting and any casual vacancy on the Supervisory Committee shall be filled by the remaining members thereof by appointment from among the members of the credit union and the person so appointed shall hold office until the conclusion of the next annual general meeting.

(9) At the organisation meeting and at each annual general meeting of a credit union the members thereof present shall elect by secret ballot an auditor to hold office until the conclusion of the next annual general meeting, but the board of directors may fill any casual vacancy in the office of auditor.

(10) Subsections (3), (4) and (5) of section 19 (excluding any reference to the auditor), and section 20 , of this Act shall apply to the organisation meeting as if it were an annual general meeting of the credit union.

Powers and functions of board of directors.

13. —(1) The board of directors of a credit union shall have the general control, direction and management of the affairs, funds and records of the credit union.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, the powers and functions of the board of directors of a credit union shall include all or any of the following matters—

(a) the making of decisions in regard to applications for membership of the credit union and in regard to applications for loans,

(b) the fixing of the amount and character of the surety bond (if any) required in respect of any officer of the credit union who has custody of funds or other property of the credit union,

(c) the determination from time to time of the rate of interest which shall be charged on loans to members, and of the rate of interest which shall be paid on deposits,

(d) the recommendation to members, for their declaration, of dividends,

(e) the fixing of the maximum number of shares in the credit union which may be held by a member and of the maximum amount that a member may deposit with the credit union, such limits to apply equally to all members,

(f) the determination from time to time of the maximum amount which may be on loan at a particular time to a member in respect of secured loans and unsecured loans respectively, such limits to apply equally to all members,

(g) the making of decisions in respect of the investment of surplus funds of the credit union,

(h) the employment and the terms of employment of such person or persons as the board of directors consider necessary for the purposes of the credit union; provided, however, that the remuneration, in respect of employment in the credit union, of a person who is a director thereof, shall require the approval before the payment of such remuneration of the members of the credit union at a general meeting thereof,

(i) the purchase and sale of property for the credit union,

(j) the borrowing of money by the credit union,

(k) the taking, in accordance with the instructions of the members of the credit union at a general meeting thereof, of any lawful action not inconsistent with the rules of the credit union.

(3) The board of directors of a credit union shall meet as often as may be necessary for the proper discharge of its business but not less than once in every month.

(4) (a) The board of directors may, notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2) of this section, appoint a committee (which shall be known, and is in this Act referred to, as the Credit Committee) of three or more members of the credit union, to consider and decide on applications for loans.

(b) The Credit Committee shall report to the board of directors not less than once in every month and, in the exercise of the functions delegated to it, shall conform to any instructions imposed on it by the board of directors.

(c) The membership of the Credit Committee shall include not less than one director but shall not include the treasurer of the credit union.

(5) (a) The board of directors of a credit union may, notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2) of this section, appoint a committee (which shall be known, and is in this Act referred to, as the Membership Committee) of one or more members of the credit union to consider and decide on applications for membership of the credit union.

(b) The Membership Committee shall report to the board of directors not less than once in every month and, in the exercise of the functions delegated to it, shall conform to any instructions imposed on it by the board of directors.

(c) The membership of the Membership Committee shall include not less than one director but shall not include the treasurer of the credit union.

(6) A director of a credit union who is also a member of the Membership Committee or the Credit Committee thereof shall, upon ceasing to hold the office of director, cease to be a member of the Membership Committee or Credit Committee, as the case may be.

(7) The acts of a director of a credit union shall be valid notwithstanding any defect which may afterwards be discovered in his appointment or qualification.

Other provisions regarding board of directors.

14. —(1) A director of a credit union shall hold office for such period as the rules may provide, not exceeding that ending with the conclusion of the third next annual general meeting held after that at which he was elected.

(2) The board of directors may at any time and from time to time appoint any member of the credit union to be a director to fill a casual vacancy and any director so appointed shall hold office only until the conclusion of the next following annual general meeting.

(3) Except where the rules provide otherwise, a person shall not be eligible for re-election or appointment to the board of directors until one year has elapsed since he last held office as a director.

Remuneration.

15. —(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, a director or a member of the Credit Committee, Membership Committee or Supervisory Committee of a credit union shall not be paid by the credit union any remuneration, whether directly or indirectly, for any service performed by him in his capacity as such director or as chairman, vice-chairman or secretary or as such committee member on behalf of or for the benefit of the credit union, other than any expenses necessarily incurred by him in such capacity in carrying out any duties in respect of the business of the credit union and approved by a majority vote of the members of the board of directors of the credit union.

(2) The treasurer of a credit union may be paid such remuneration as may from time to time be approved, prior to the payment of such remuneration or any part thereof, by the members in general meeting.

Prohibition of multiple resolutions.

16. —A motion by a single resolution for the election or appointment of two or more persons as officers of a credit union shall not be made at any general meeting thereof.

Powers and duties of the Supervisory Committee.

17. —(1) The Supervisory Committee of a credit union shall have the general duty of overseeing the performance of their duties by the officers of the credit union.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, the Supervisory Committee of a credit union shall—

(a) make or cause to be made not less than twice in the period before the next annual general meeting an examination of the books, papers, records and accounts of the credit union and such examination shall include an inspection of securities, cash accounts and all documents and records relating to loans,

(b) make or cause to be made once in the period before the next annual general meeting a comparison of the passbook or other document or statement of account of every member with the appropriate records of the credit union,

(c) ascertain whether or not all actions and decisions of the officers, relating to the affairs of the credit union, are in accordance with law and with the rules of the credit union,

(d) report in writing to the next annual general meeting of the credit union or, if the Supervisory Committee so thinks fit, sooner to a special general meeting of the credit union the result of its examination and enquiries.

(3) The Supervisory Committee may—

(a) by unanimous vote of its entire membership at a meeting called for the purpose suspend from office any officers of the credit union who have taken any action or decision which in the opinion of the Committee is not in accordance with law or the rules of the credit union; or

(b) whether or not they suspend any officer, convene a special general meeting of the credit union to consider such action or decision.

(4) Whenever an officer of a credit union has been suspended from office by the Supervisory Committee under this section, the Supervisory Committee shall convene a special general meeting of the credit union to be held not later than fourteen days after such suspension.

(5) At a special general meeting held under this section the credit union may, upon the majority of the members present signifying their approval by secret ballot—

(a) ratify a suspension by the Supervisory Committee and remove from office the person so suspended, the vacancy caused by such removal being filled in the manner determined at the meeting,

(b) rescind a suspension by the Supervisory Committee, or

(c) remove from office any officer of the credit union (whether or not he has been suspended by the Supervisory Committee), the vacancy caused by such removal being filled in the manner determined at the meeting;

provided, however, that no person shall be removed from office under this section without being given an opportunity of being heard by the members at the special general meeting.

Election of chairman, etc.

18. —(1) In the period of seven days beginning on the day following the organisation meeting or each annual general meeting, the board of directors of a credit union shall elect by secret ballot from their number four persons who shall be, respectively, chairman, vice-chairman, treasurer and secretary of the credit union.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section the same person may be elected treasurer and secretary of a credit union.

(3) A person elected under subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall hold office only until the conclusion of the next following annual general meeting of the credit union.

(4) The directors may, in order to fill a casual vacancy, at any time and from time to time elect any of their number to be a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary or treasurer of the credit union (or treasurer and secretary thereof), and any person so elected shall hold office only until the conclusion of the next following annual general meeting of the credit union.

(5) Within fourteen days of the election or appointment of a chairman, vice-chairman, director, secretary, treasurer, or committee member the chairman and secretary shall jointly notify in writing the registrar of the election or appointment, stating in the notification the full name and address of the person elected or appointed.

(6) It shall be the duty of the secretary to keep minutes of all general meetings of the credit union and of all meetings of the board of directors thereof.

(7) The treasurer of a credit union shall—

(a) act as the general manager thereof except where the rules provide otherwise,

(b) not later than the last day of each month cause to be displayed in the office of the credit union (or elsewhere if the members in general meeting so direct) a financial statement as of the end of the preceding month setting out the income and expenditure of the credit union for the period from the beginning of the current financial year to the end of the said preceding month and containing a balance sheet of the credit union as of the end of the said preceding month.

(8) The rules shall provide for the signature of at least two officers of the credit union on all conveyances of property of the credit union and on all cheques, drafts, notes and other obligations of the credit union and on all transfers by the credit union of shares or other investments.

(9) A director of a credit union who is also the chairman, vice-chairman, treasurer or secretary thereof shall, upon ceasing to hold the office of director, also cease to hold the office of chairman, vice-chairman, treasurer or secretary.

Annual general meeting of credit union.

19. —(1) A meeting (in this Act referred to as the annual general meeting) of the members of a credit union shall be held in the State in the month of January or February in each year at the time and place provided for under the rules.

(2) The secretary of a credit union shall, not later than seven days before the annual general meeting, cause written notice of the date, time and place thereof to be handed to each member and to the auditor or posted or sent to each of them at his address as recorded in the books of the credit union.

(3) The quorum for the annual general meeting shall be ten per cent. of the members of the credit union or fifteen members, whichever is the lesser number, provided that—

(a) in no case shall the quorum for an annual general meeting be less than five members, and

(b) the quorum for an adjourned annual general meeting may be less than that required by the preceding provisions of this subsection if the rules so provide.

(4) An annual general meeting may, for good and sufficient reasons and with the consent of the majority of those present, be adjourned, provided that—

(a) no business shall be transacted at an adjourned annual general meeting other than the business left unfinished at the meeting from which the adjournment took place; and

(b) when an annual general meeting is adjourned for thirty or more days, but not otherwise, subsection (2) of this section shall apply to such adjourned annual general meeting.

(5) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (4) of this section, less than seven days' notice of the date, time and place of the annual general meeting or the adjourned annual general meeting may be given if not less than ninety per cent. of the members of a credit union entitled to be present and to vote at such meeting and the auditor of the credit union so agree in writing before or during such meeting.

Voting at an annual general meeting.

20. —(1) At an annual general meeting of a credit union each member shall have only one vote on each question irrespective of his shareholding in the credit union.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, a member of a credit union may not vote by proxy at the annual general meeting of the credit union.

(3) A group of persons which is a member of a credit union may be represented at the annual general meeting of the credit union by a member of that group and the member may vote thereat on behalf of that group if he has been duly authorised in writing by that group to do so and the board of directors of the credit union have, expressly or by implication, accepted such authorisation, and shall be entitled to exercise the same powers on behalf of the group which he represents as that group could exercise if it were an individual member of the credit union.

Special general meeting of a credit union.

21. —(1) The board of directors or the Supervisory Committee of a credit union may, whenever they think fit, convene a special general meeting of the credit union.

(2) When not less than fifteen members of a credit union so request in a document addressed to the credit union at its registered office, a special general meeting of the credit union shall be convened by the directors and if, within one month from the date of the receipt in the registered office of such document the directors have not convened a special general meeting to be held within six weeks from the said date, any three members of the credit union acting on behalf of the said fifteen members may convene a special general meeting.

(3) Subject to subsections (1) and (2) of this section, so much of subsections (2) to (5) of section 19 , and section 20 of this Act as relates to an annual general meeting shall apply to a special general meeting as if it were an annual general meeting of the credit union.

Dividends.

22. —(1) A dividend on the shares of a credit union, not exceeding ten per cent. of the nominal value of the shares, may be declared by the members of the credit union at each annual general meeting of the credit union, and any such dividend shall be paid on all shares outstanding at the end of the preceding financial year, shares which have been allotted during that financial year being entitled to a proportional part of the dividend and a portion of a month being disregarded for the purpose of such entitlement.

(2) No dividend declared by the members of a credit union shall exceed the amount recommended by the board of directors, or be paid otherwise than out of surplus funds which are available for that purpose and have been accumulated after meeting the requirements of section 23 of this Act in relation to reserve.

Reserve.

23. —(1) A credit union shall establish a reserve by allocating in respect of each financial year not less than ten per cent. of the surplus funds of the credit union for that purpose.

(2) In ascertaining the surplus funds of a credit union in a financial year, all operating expenses of the credit union in that year and any necessary provision for depreciation shall first be provided for but no provision shall be made in respect of amounts to be paid by way of dividends.

(3) A credit union shall not capitalise its reserve by way of bonus shares or distribute it by way of dividends.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, whenever the board of directors of a credit union so recommend to the members thereof and the members in general meeting so approve, the allocation to reserve may be increased or, if the reserve at the end of the financial year in question equals or exceeds fifteen per cent. of the sum of the shares balance and the deposits balance, the allocation may be reduced.

Expulsion and withdrawal from credit union.

24. —(1) A member of a credit union may be expelled therefrom if not less than two-thirds of the members present at a special general meeting called for the purpose vote in favour of his expulsion, provided, however, that before any such resolution has been passed, the member concerned has been given an opportunity to be heard by the meeting.

(2) An appeal (notice of which shall be in writing and shall set out the grounds on which it is based) to the District Court at a sitting thereof for the District Court District in which the registered office of the credit union is situate shall lie from a decision of the credit union expelling a member therefrom, and the decision of the District Court on such appeal shall be final, save that any question of law arising in such appeal may be referred to the High Court for determination and an appeal shall lie by leave of the High Court to the Supreme Court from every such determination.

(3) A member of a credit union may withdraw from membership thereof by giving notice in accordance with the rules of the credit union.

(4) Withdrawal or expulsion of a member from a credit union shall not operate to relieve such member from any liability, existing at such withdrawal or expulsion, to the credit union.

(5) All moneys due, in respect of withdrawable shares and deposits, by a credit union to a member thereof who withdraws or is expelled shall, after deduction of all moneys due by him to the credit union, be paid to him; provided, however, that notwithstanding anything in its rules or in any contract, a credit union may, if it thinks fit, postpone the payment of such moneys due or part thereof until the end of the period of sixty days beginning on the date of the expulsion or withdrawal.

(6) The nominal value of non-withdrawable shares held by an expelled member of a credit union (but not by a withdrawing member) may also be paid to him after deduction of all moneys due by him to the credit union, subject to the proviso mentioned in subsection (5).

(7) No payment in respect of shares shall be made by a credit union to a withdrawing or expelled member while any claim due on account of deposits is unsatisfied.

(8) No payment of any description shall be made by a credit union to a withdrawing or expelled member unless all his liabilities (including contingent liabilities) to the credit union, whether as borrower, guarantor or otherwise, have been fully discharged or otherwise fully provided for by a person other than the credit union.

Power of a credit union to effect certain insurances.

25. —(1) Notwithstanding anything in the Insurance Acts, 1909 to 1964, the Minister may authorise in writing a credit union to take out with a person, not being a person to whom a licence has been granted under Part II of the Insurance Act, 1936 , insurance of the following types—

(a) insurance of a member of the credit union in the event of his disablement, or insurance of the member's estate in the event of his death, against liability to the credit union for loans made by the credit union to such member and outstanding at such disablement or death,

(b) life insurance of a member of the credit union for an amount equal to or proportionate to the sum of his deposits with and shares in the credit union,

(c) such other types of insurance as the Minister may think desirable to authorise for the proper regulation of the affairs of credit unions.

(2) An authority under this section may—

(a) be either general or particular,

(b) be subject to such conditions as the Minister may consider appropriate and are set out therein, and

(c) be withdrawn at any time, without prejudice to the validity of anything done under such authority before such withdrawal.

Certain prohibitions on undischarged bankrupts and other persons.

26. —(1) A person who is an undischarged bankrupt (within the meaning of section 2 of the Companies Act, 1963 ) or who has been convicted on indictment of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty shall not—

(a) sign an application form for registration of a credit union,

(b) act as a member of the board of directors or the Membership Committee, Credit Committee or Supervisory Committee of a credit union,

(c) directly or indirectly take part in or be concerned in the management of a credit union, or

(d) permit his name to be put forward for election or appointment to any office referred to in paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection.

(2) Whenever a person holding an office referred to in paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection (1) of this section becomes ineligible, by virtue of that subsection, to hold office, he shall forthwith cease to hold that office and the vacancy thereby created shall be deemed to be a casual vacancy and shall be filled accordingly.

Credit Union Advisory Committee.

27. —(1) The Minister shall, as soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, appoint a committee which shall be known, and is in this Act referred to, as the Credit Union Advisory Committee.

(2) The Credit Union Advisory Committee shall advise the Minister and such other persons as he thinks fit in relation to—

(a) the improvement of the management of credit unions,

(b) the protection of the interests of members and creditors of credit unions,

(c) other matters relating to credit unions upon which the Minister may from time to time seek the advice of the Committee.

(3) (a) The Credit Union Advisory Committee shall consist of not more than seven persons appointed for such period as the Minister thinks fit,

(b) Every person appointed to membership of the Credit Union Advisory Committee shall be chosen by the Minister for such appointment by reason of such person's knowledge of matters pertaining to credit unions or because he is capable of giving substantial practical assistance in the work of the Committee.

(4) Any person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either of the Houses of the Oireachtas to sit therein shall, while so entitled, be disqualified from becoming a member of the Credit Union Advisory Committee.

(5) Where a member of the Credit Union Advisory Committee becomes a member of either House of the Oireachtas he shall, upon becoming entitled under the Standing Orders of that House to sit therein, cease to be a member of the Committee.

(6) The Minister shall from time to time nominate one member of the Credit Union Advisory Committee to act as chairman thereof.

(7) There shall be paid to every member of the Credit Union Advisory Committee such remuneration and expenses as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may determine.

Non-application of Moneylenders Acts to credit unions.

28. —The Moneylenders Acts, 1900 and 1933, shall not apply to a credit union or to a body the membership of which consists solely of credit unions and the principal objects of which are the promotion of the credit union movement and the provision of services for credit unions.

Non-application of Central Bank Act, 1942, to credit unions.

29. —The Central Bank Act, 1942 , shall not apply to a credit union.

Use of certain words in names of credit unions.

30. —(1) The words “credit union” or the words “comhar creidmheasa” shall be included in the name of a credit union.

(2) A credit union shall not carry on business under a name which includes any one of the following words, that is to say, “bank”, “banker” or “banking” or any other word being a translation, variant or derivative of one of those words.

Use of words “credit union”.

31. —A person, not being a credit union or a body of credit unions, shall not use, in reference to himself, a name, title or descriptive expression containing the words “credit union” or the words “comhar creidmheasa” or any cognate term or any derivative or translation of those words or represent himself as being a credit union or a body of credit unions, as the case may be.

Pre-registration contracts.

32. —(1) Legal proceedings in respect of any contract or other transaction entered into by an unincorporated body before the date on which it secures registration as a credit union by virtue of this Act, or purporting to be entered into by that body or by any person on its behalf before that date, may be brought by or against the credit union, subject to the Statute of Limitations, 1957 , as if it had been registered as a credit union by virtue of this Act at the date of the contract or other transaction.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to any body which first secures registration as a credit union by virtue of this Act on a date which is more than two years after the commencement of this Act.

Registrar's power to petition High Court for winding up of a credit union.

33. —The registrar may, with the consent of the Minister, petition the High Court for an order to wind up a credit union on the ground that it is unable to pay its debts or has, after notice from the registrar, wilfully violated a provision of the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1966.

Prohibition on disclosure of certain information.

34. —An officer of a credit union shall not disclose to any person any information regarding a transaction of a member of that credit union therewith save in so far as may be necessary for the proper conduct of the business of that credit union.

Regulations.

35. —(1) The Minister, after consultation with the Credit Union Advisory Committee, may make regulations—

(a) prescribing forms and procedures for use by a credit union in the conduct of its business,

(b) requiring a credit union to take out insurance of a specified type in relation to the loans, deposits or shares of the members,

(c) requiring in respect of officers dealing with funds or property of a credit union, the taking out of a surety bond of such type as may be specified in the regulations,

(d) prescribing the maximum amount of secured and unsecured loans which a credit union may make to borrowers,

(e) prescribing the security or types of security which a credit union shall require in respect of a secured loan to a member,

(f) prescribing the form and content of accounts and balance sheets required to be made out by a credit union under this Act,

(g) prescribing the investments (including investments other than those permitted by section 38 of the Principal Act) in which a credit union may invest its funds,

(h) requiring a credit union to adopt rules in a form prescribed or as near thereto as circumstances permit,

(i) altering from time to time the financial (including percentage) limits or time limits prescribed by paragraphs (ii) and (iii) of subsection (3) of section 4, subsection (4) of section 7, subsections (4) and (6) of section 8, subsections (2) and (3) of section 9, subsection (1) of section 10, paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (5) and subsection (7) of section 11, subsections (2) and (3) of section 12, subsections (1) and (3) of section 14, subsections (2) and (4) of section 17, subsections (1) and (5) and paragraph (b) of subsection (7) of section 18, subsections (1) and (2) of section 19, subsection (2) of section 21, subsection (1) of section 22, subsections (1) and (4) of section 23, subsections (5) and (6) of section 24, and Part I of the Schedule to this Act,

(j) making such adaptations of the law as he thinks fit for the purpose of facilitating the registration of a credit union the membership of which consists solely of other credit unions,

(k) prohibiting such forms and methods of advertising by credit unions or by particular categories of credit unions as are, in the opinion of not less than six members of the Credit Union Advisory Committee, contrary to the aims of the credit union movement,

(l) prescribing the procedure to be adopted in the auditing of the accounts of credit unions and the qualifications necessary for such auditing, notwithstanding any other provision of the law.

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) of this section may relate to all or any one or more of the matters referred to in that subsection.

(3) Where a regulation is proposed to be made under paragraphs (b), (g), (i) (except in so far as it relates to time limits), (j), (k) or (l) of subsection (1) of this section, a draft thereof shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and the regulation shall not be made until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each such House.

(4) Every regulation made by the Minister under this Act (other than a regulation to which subsection (3) of this section applies) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation is passed by either such House within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which that House has sat after the regulation is laid before it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

Non-application to credit unions of certain provisions of Principal Act.

36. —(1) The following provisions of the Principal Act, namely, paragraph (b) of section 4, sections 6 to 8, subsections (1) and (6) of section 10, sections 19, 54 and 55, the definition of “officer” in section 79, and the Second Schedule shall not apply to a credit union.

(2) Section 49 of the Principal Act shall, in its application to a dispute concerning the expulsion of a member by a credit union or a proposed transfer of shares by a member of a credit union, have effect as if subsections (1) and (4) to (6) were deleted and as if, for the words from “and such determination” in subsection (2) to the end of that subsection, the following were substituted: “and such determination and order shall be binding and conclusive on all parties without appeal, and shall not be removable into any court of law or restrainable by injunction, and application for the enforcement thereof may be made to the judge of the Circuit Court assigned to the circuit in which the registered office of the society is situate”.

Amendment of other Acts.

37. —Each section of the Principal Act, of the Friendly Societies Act, 1896, and of the Insurance Act, 1936 , which is mentioned in column (1) of the Schedule to this Act is hereby amended in the manner set out in column (2) of the said Schedule opposite the mention of that section.

Expenses of Minister.

38. —The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Short title, commencement, construction and collective citation.

39. —(1) This Act may be cited as the Credit Union Act, 1966.

(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day as the Minister appoints by order.

(3) The Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1936, and this Act shall be construed together and may be cited together as the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1966.

SCHEDULE.

Section 37 .

Part I—Amendments of the Principal Act.

(1)

(2)

Section

How amended

Section 4

By the substitution in paragraph (a) of “one thousand pounds” for “two hundred pounds”.

Section 5

By the insertion in paragraph (1) after “seven persons at least” of “none of whom, in the case of a credit union, is less than twenty-one years of age”.

Section 23

By the insertion in subsection (2) after “shares” of “deposits, dividends or interest on deposits”.

Section 25 (inserted by section 5 of the Act of 1913)

By the substitution in subsection (1) and (3) of “one thousand pounds” for “one hundred pounds” in each place where it occurs.

Section 26

By the substitution in subsection (1) (inserted by section 5 of the Act of 1913) of “one thousand pounds” for “two hundred pounds”.

Section 27

By the substitution in subsection (1) of “five hundred pounds” for “one hundred pounds”.

Section 28 (inserted by section 6 of the Act of 1913)

By the deletion of the whole section.

Section 53

By the insertion after subsection (2) of the following subsection:

“(3) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2) of this section, a credit union shall not amalgamate with or transfer its engagements to any other registered society unless that society is a credit union the members of which have the same common bond as have the members of the first-mentioned credit union”.

Part II—Amendments of the Friendly Societies Act, 1896.

(1)

Section

(2)

How amended

Section 6

By the insertion after “Parliament” of the following: “The report required by this section shall include particulars relating to credit unions and, in particular, a list of all statutory instruments in operation at the end of the year in question together with explanatory notes regarding such instruments and a copy of such particulars shall be sent free of charge on request to any credit union in the State.”

Section 8

By the substitution in the proviso to paragraph (1) of “one thousand pounds” for “three hundred pounds” (inserted by section 2 of the Friendly Societies (Amendment) Act, 1953 (No. 28 of 1953)).

Section 41

By the substitution in subsection (1) of “one thousand pounds” for “three hundred pounds” (inserted by section 3 of the Friendly Societies Act, 1908 (1908, c.32)).

Section 56

By the substitution in subsection (1) of “one thousand pounds” for “three hundred pounds” (inserted by section 3 of the Friendly Societies (Amendment) Act, 1953 ).

Section 57

By the substitution in subsection (1) of “one thousand pounds” for “three hundred pounds” (inserted by section 4 of the Friendly Societies (Amendment) Act, 1953 ).

Section 58

By the substitution in subsection (1) of “five hundred pounds” for “three hundred pounds” (inserted by section 5 of the Friendly Societies (Amendment) Act, 1953 ).

Section 59

By the deletion of the whole section.

Section 62

By the substitution of “twenty pounds” for “six pounds” and “thirty pounds” for “ten pounds”.

Section 65

By the substitution in subsection (1) of “twenty pounds” for “six pounds” and “thirty pounds” for “ten pounds”.

Part III—Amendment of the Insurance Act, 1936 .

(1)

Section

(2)

How amended

Section 51

By the substitution of the following for paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subsection (2):

“(a) if such child dies under the age of five years, the sum of twenty pounds, or

(b) if such child dies aged five years or more, but less than ten years, the sum of thirty pounds”.