Significant progress has been achieved in the Credit Control area. While bad debt recoveries are down 24k on last year, recoveries are very good at 75k, towards previous years when the average was 50k. This, coupled with a decrease of a further 25% in debt collection costs down from 36k to 29k, demonstrates the commitment to credit control.
This year, we are writing off 207k down 173k on last year. We would point out again, however, that this write-off is only an accounting exercise, with all of these members being pursued for full recovery of their debts up to and including possible arrest and imprisonment, as we have an obligation to other members/shareholders. We would encourage members who are in difficulty to contact our Credit Control Officer Sarah Beasley, who will deal with their difficulty. To assist members whose levels of debt are becoming increasingly difficult to control, we offer a free financial budgeting service in-house to try to address their problems.
Our Bad Debt Provision at 2 million now represents 6.1% of loans outstanding. We feel this level is prudent in the current economic climate. It is hoped to at least maintain this level moving forward.
We would urge caution to all members in respect of borrowing. It is very easy to get finance at present either from financial institutions or, even, supermarkets and credit card companies. Should the interest rates increase, members could find themselves in severe financial difficulties. Please consider all the issues before taking on additional borrowings. We would also ask that members do not take offence if their loan applications are declined the decision is in their own interest.
As advised at last years AGM, Roscrea Credit Union has joined the Irish Credit Bureau. It is expected that we will have full access to the ICB in Spring 2006. At that stage, details of all new loans will be given to the ICB, which could create problems for members who do not keep their accounts up to date. We are hopeful that, over time, this access will prove helpful in reducing our bad debt exposure. We also have online access to judgements registered, which is another tool we use in ensuring that we have accurate information.
Finally, we would like to thank the Credit Controller, CEO and staff for their help and support during the year.
Credit Control Committee.
Tom McCarthy, Eamon Phelan, David Donnelly.