The launch of the Cultivate at Inishowen Credit Union, Buncrana. PHOTO: Kerrie Quinn, nwpresspics
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Sean Fleming visited Inishowen Credit Union, to learn about the upcoming launch of its new agri-loan product under the Cultivate brand.
The meeting was arranged as part of Minister McConalogue’s attendance at the Inishowen Co-op AGM.
Inishowen Credit Union Chairperson, Paul Brogan, briefed both Ministers on the history of Inishowen Credit Union and how the credit union plans to expand its services to members with the introduction of the Cultivate farm loan.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Brogan said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity today to welcome the Ministers and showcase the ongoing development and expansion of services at our credit union.
“We are the second credit union in Donegal to launch Cultivate. We are currently preparing for the launch and staff are currently attending a farming and finance training course. This is our first step into the SME market and we see it as an excellent opportunity for the credit union.
“We are delighted to be launching next month and to introduce Cultivate to the Inishowen farming community.”
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said: “I was delighted to be joined by my colleague Minister Fleming and the team at Inishowen Credit Union to launch their roll out of the Cultivate Loan today.
“It is a really useful financial tool for farmers and is a great example of rural communities supporting each other. It was also great to meet with representatives of Credit Unions throughout Donegal and to discuss some important points.”
Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Sean Fleming TD said: “I would like to commend Inishowen Credit Union and its team for offering Cultivate loans.
“This will help Inishowen Credit Union grow its lending in the community. Cultivate is appearing in Credit Unions all around the country because of its popularity with farmers. Inishowen Credit Union will now offer unsecured loans up to €50,000 over seven years.
“This will help farmers invest in new stock, buy a tractor or fund buildings. This is good news for the Credit Union movement and the people of Inishowen.”
Members of the local credit union Chapter also met with both Ministers to outline some of the challenges facing credit unions as well as some of the opportunities to provide more services to the public, particularly with the withdrawal of banks from towns and communities across the country.
The Chapter representatives stressed that with the right support from the Government and the regulator, credit unions have the potential to become the community banking solution for Ireland and in doing so, provide people with a real alternative to the two remaining pillar banks.
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