VCs, Credit Unions, EI and other things I have no clue of…

The credit unions are having their annual conference this year and it seems from the preview in the Indo yesterday that they are looking at new ways of diverifying before they become obsolete.

CREDIT unions risk becoming irrelevant, fragmented and strait-jacketed by increasingly onerous regulation unless they undergo major changes, its strategy plan warns. The movement also risks losing members in their thousands as banks continue to target products such as loans which were traditionally the preserve of credit unions.

One area they are thinking of going into is “Wealth Management”:

CREDIT unions are considering expanding their services to tap into the fast-expanding wealth management sector of the market.The credit union movement, which is largely perceived to be rural-based and offering services to the less well-off, is also considering offering loans to businesses.
Any move into wealth management would see unions competing with a raft of banks and investments houses that target high net worth individuals. All the major domestic banks have private banking or wealth management divisions, while international heavyweights such as Coutts and HSBC have expressed interest in entering the Irish wealth management market.

Should credit unions get pitched and encouraged to get into the sub-million VC game? They could fill the niche where angels (and the main VC companies) fear to tread. Credit Unions are more forgiving and less greedy than banks and they seem to have more local knowledge or knowledge at least of their members. Though would they be allowed to gamble with their members’ money more so than they do now?

Also, I was wondering should startups create a lobby group or association to make sure that the Government thinks small about their big pile of cash? Does ISME and the SFA do this already? Small investments and hundreds of em are better than worrying about getting money back. Investing tax payer money into small companies and taking a slight gamble is better than taking large chunks of taxpayer money and investing in a handful of sure things. This should be public policy. You know, that’s the reason social welfare and the health system is not a money making machine. And linking to another post from Joe, this has got to piss ya off.

And a bonus link of rule-bending by Enterprise Ireland. Always happy to bend the rules for their sure things are ye lads?

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4 Responses to “VCs, Credit Unions, EI and other things I have no clue of…”

  1. dahamsta says:

    I love the idea of credit unions acting as angels Damien, and the reasons behind it. You should have a chat with St Michael’s about it, see if they’d run it up the national flagpole.

    Did I hear on the radio the other day that An Post is launching a bank? Or is this just an extension of the existing AIB setup?

  2. Damien says:

    Yes, and they spent 14M looking for a partner to help them but they won’t roll that into the cost of this new join-venture. http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=184&si=1821642&issue_id=15570

  3. aphrodite says:

    To be honest I think the Credit Unions need to run very hard to catch up – they are more greedy than the banks – 12% for a car loan in my local CU – the losses they have made with their members money are massive due to their lack of knowledge. I do have a CU account and will always support them, but I think they need to make huge changes to survive.

    This is just my opinion and I know others may think the CUs can do no wrong … but then that’s just your opinion too

  4. mounstreet says:

    If you are interested in joining in on the debate on credit unions try this site irishcuvoice.com