In April last, the new Credit Agreement was introduced in place of the old Promissory Note. We would like to thank members for their co-operation with this process. It is hoped, in the short-term, that this Credit Agreement will be shortened and will not require the current number of signatures.
Our car loan promotional rate of 7% was introduced on the 1st of November 2004 and proved to be a huge success with €3.7m lent at this rate in the year just ended. The car loan rate has just been re-introduced this year and take-up to date has been very good. There are a number of other promotional rates available – PC rate 5.95%, Education 6%, Holiday 8%.
As advised at last years AGM, we joined the Irish Credit Bureau in 2004. We are currently in the process of developing our software to introduce ICB and hope to have the system fully operational in Spring 2006. It is important that members loan payments are kept up to date as failure to do so could affect their credit rating.
During this year, we introduced our new QueueCall system, which has been a great success in terms of queue management. We also introduced our new Express Lodgement facility and would encourage members to make use of it, to speed up their visit to the credit union.
The IT initiative through Deloitte has continued over the past year, with progress being achieved. It is hoped that we can bring this initiative to fruition next year. In the interim, we intend improving our direct debit operation, with daily processing of payments. We are also looking at the possibility of direct credits, which will allow members have their withdrawals or loan drawdowns paid directly into their bank accounts. We are currently in the process of introducing a Disaster Recovery Service, which will ensure that the “down-time”, should a disaster happen, will be kept to an absolute minimum. Back-ups to an off-site location will be part of this process.
As part of an income/expenditure review this year, we transferred our Death Benefit Insurance from ECCU insurance to Cuna Mutual, with a saving of c.€45k per annum being achieved. We have also looked at lp/ls costs, which is one of the high cost items for our credit union. As you can see from our AGM notice, we had proposed two changes to our cover. We feel that, with an ageing membership, changes will be crucial to our continued success. We hope to produce a newsletter early next year specifically dealing with our insurance products, which will outline the difficulties facing us in the future.
We would remind SSIA holders that the maturity process will commence in May 2006. We will be contacting members in January to advise how the process will work. No difficulties are foreseen.
Unfortunately, FEXCO have withdrawn their foreign draft facilities. It is now necessary to forward funds directly to the bank account of beneficiaries. It is important that full beneficiary account details are provided to our Foreign Exchange official as incorrect details could delay payment.
www.roscreaonline.com continues to be a huge success and has recently been revamped, thanks to Brian King, Business Development Officer. There are currently 3800 users logging onto the website each week. As this is a marketing tool for the town, we would urge all Roscrea people to promote its use, whether with people at home or abroad. Since year end, as you will have seen in the local papers, roscreaonline.com has been awarded a GoldenSpiders award. This is a huge achievement for a town portal that started out from scratch only 4 years ago.
Obviously, our commitment of €700k to the swimming pool was a major development, which brought an end to a long-running saga. It is expected that tenders will issue in Spring 2006 for the construction of the facility. The financial implications will be discussed elsewhere by our treasurer. This is the second major development in the town (the Colaiste sports hall was the first), which your credit union has helped bring to fruition – both of which will be an enormous benefit to our town.
Should any members have constructive ideas for the further development of our credit union, these can be relayed to any committee member.
We thank the Board and staff for their support during the year.
Planning and Development Committee:
John Gunnell, Brendan Wright, Liam Phelan, Noel Ryan, Ray McCarthy.