Credit unions discuss regulation with EU representatives in Brussels

Proportionality was a key issue on the agenda for the meetings

Representatives of the European Network of Credit Unions (ENCU) and the World Council of Credit Unions (Woccu) met with European Union policymakers in Brussels to discuss regulatory issues, including the EU’s upcoming bills that will affect the payments area.

They discussed a range of issues, around the provisions mandating instant payments, the adoption of a digital Euro, open finance considerations and reforms to the EU Payments Services Directive (PSD2), which governs the underlying payments framework. The group also debated issues related to the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism framework and sustainable finance, two areas in which the EU could be making changes.

ENCU warns that the various items under consideration could require credit unions to “spend precious resources to comply with the requirements to provide instant payments, rework systems to allow for open banking and open finance and create new reporting and regulatory burdens for credit unions”.

While in Brussels, Woccu and ENCU representatives met with Ambassador Thomas Hanney, Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU, Billy Kelleher, MEP (Renew, Ireland), Alfred Sant MEP (Socialists and Democrats, Malta), and other key policymakers from the Commission and the Council.

WOCCU and ENCU representatives at the European Parliament in Brussels (Photo credit: Woccu)

Proportionality was a key issue on the agenda for the meetings, with both bodies calling for adequate proportionality to support the credit union co-operative model, while maintaining a level playing field with other financial service providers.

“As we head toward the EU elections, there remain many ‘big ticket’ items left on the agenda. It is critical that credit unions are properly considered so that they can continue their crucial role of serving their communities. Our members’ presence here this week is effectively making the case that credit unions play a vital role in providing responsible and affordable financial services in the EU,” said Andrew Price, senior vice president of International Advocacy and General Counsel for the World Council of Credit Unions.

ENCU brings together eight European credit union associations: the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), National Association of Co-operative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) of Poland, Croatian Association of Credit Unions (CACU), Federation of Romanian Credit Unions (FEDCAR), Estonian Union of Credit Cooperatives (EUCC), North Macedonia’s FULM Savings House and the Dutch Association of Cooperating Credit Unions (VSK).