European Parliament expresses support for regulatory relief for credit unions

Representatives of the sector met MEPs last month to push for reform

Credit union representatives have visited members of the European Parliament in Brussels to push for regulatory relief.

The meeting, on 27 March, brought together the European Network of Credit Unions and the European Parliament Credit Union Interest Group. The network estimates that credit unions provide financial services to more than seven million European households.

The caucus was launched in 2014 as an informal, all-party European Parliamentary Group that meets twice a year to raise awareness about credit unions and micro-finance among EU institutions and stakeholders. It is made up of 15 members of the European Parliament who support credit unions, including co-chair Marian Harkin (Republic of Ireland), who is co-chair and vice chair Paul Tang (Netherlands).

They were joined by Sven Giegold (Germany), a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), in highlighting ways to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and support increased credit union activities in the EU.

Mr Giegold said: “We need to preserve the business model of smaller, low-risk actors such as good credit unions which play a useful role for the stability of the European banking sector. Financial regulation must not overburden small banks with administrative requirements but needs to properly address the risks posed by systemic institutions.”

Representatives from the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), the National Association of Co-operative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) of Poland, the Estonian Union of Credit Cooperatives (EUCC), and World Council of Credit Unions also explained how EU policy could provide regulatory relief for credit unions in Europe.

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