HM Treasury and FSA
publish joint consultation paper on the regulation of credit unions
in Northern Ireland
Treasury and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) have today
published a joint consultation paper on the future regulation of
Northern Ireland credit unions (NICUs). These proposals will
enhance consumer protection across all NICUs, and align both the
prudential and consumer standards of NICUs with those of credit
unions in other parts of the United Kingdom.
In particular, today’s joint paper discusses the manner in which
NICUs will be regulated by the FSA, brought under the protection
of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and within the
jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service. These measures
will provide NICU members with increased protection and peace of
mind, as the Government strongly believes financial services
consumers in Northern Ireland should have the same rights as those
in the rest of the UK.
The Government is committed to promoting mutuals across the UK
financial services sector. .As mutuals, credit unions play a major
role in the overall financial services sector in Northern Ireland.
Mark Hoban MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said:
"Members of Northern Ireland Credit Unions
don't have the same rights and can't access the
same products as members of credit unions in the rest of the
United Kingdom. It is time for this to change. We have asked the
FSA to regulate them and thereby strengthen the rights of members
of credit unions in Northern Ireland. This is a further sign of
our commitment to strengthen financial mutuals and foster
diversity in financial services throughout the whole of the United Kingdom.”
Notes for Editors
1. The joint consultation paper can be found on the FSA’s website here.
2. Today’s paper builds on a consultation issued by HM Treasury
in March 2010. This previous consultation set out proposals for
the regulatory reform of NICUs. It proposed the transfer of
regulation to the FSA and the future transfer of the registration
function from Northern Ireland.
3. Regulation of NICUs will transfer from the NI Department of
Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) to the FSA on 31 March
2012. Factsheets and further information on the transfer process
for NICUs can be found on the FSA’s small firms website here.
4. Today’s consultation closes on 31 October 2011.
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