Parliamentarians Discuss the Economics of Credit Union Regulation
November 16, 2016
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Parliament Credit Union Interest Group met to discuss how regulatory burdens affect the economics of credit union operations at the European Parliament’s Espace Leopold in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday 16 November. The Interest Group is composed of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who are credit union supporters. European Parliament vice president Ryszard Czarnecki (Poland) and MEP Marian Harkin (Republic of Ireland) are the Co-Chairs of the Interest Group.
Keynote speakers at the event included Dr. Barry Quinn, Lecturer of Finance at Queen’s Management School, Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, and Michael Edwards, vice president and general counsel of the World Council of Credit Unions.
Dr. Quinn presented the Interest Group with data on credit unions in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom showing that Irish credit unions have recently moved from a position of increasing returns relative to scale, to a position of decreasing returns relative to scale, in large part because of increased regulatory burdens.
Mr. Edwards discussed how changes to European Union-level regulation can help the European economy by allowing credit unions to increase their lending to consumers and small and medium-enterprises in member states such as the Netherlands.
“Today’s discussion can be the starting point for a deeper reflection on how best to promote growth in Europe through regulatory reforms that unlock the full potential of credit unions and improves the lives of their members” said vice president Czarnecki. “As cooperative deposit-taking institutions that are owned by their customers, credit unions are the perfect financial institution for promoting fair and equitable economic growth for ordinary Europeans.”