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CREDIT UNION ACT, 1997
vPreliminary and General
Short title and commencement.
1. —(1) This Act may be cited as the Credit Union Act, 1997.
(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day or days as may be fixed by order made by the Minister; and different days may be so fixed for different provisions and for different purposes.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), an order under that subsection may make different provision in relation to credit unions registered before the passing of this Act as compared with those registered later.
2. —(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“Act of 1966” means the Credit Union Act, 1966 ;
“Advisory Committee” means the committee established under section 180 ;
“amendment”, in relation to the rules of a credit union, includes a new rule, and a resolution rescinding a rule, of the credit union;
“annual accounts” has the meaning given by section 111 (6);
“the annual general meeting” has the meaning given by section 78 (1);
“annual return” means the annual return which a credit union is required by section 124 to send to the Registrar;
“board of directors” means the committee of management or other directing body of a credit union;
“books and documents” includes accounts and records made in any manner, and “books or documents” shall be construed accordingly;
“common bond” means a common bond falling within section 6 (3);
“the Companies Acts” means the Companies Acts, 1963 to 1990, together with any enactment which is to be construed as one with those Acts;
“contravention” includes failure to comply;
“the Court” means the High Court;
“credit institution” means—
(a) a recognised bank within the meaning of the Central Bank Acts, 1942 to 1997,
(b) a trustee savings bank,
(c) the Post Office Savings Bank, or
(d) a building society within the meaning of the Building Societies Act, 1989 ;
“credit union” means a society registered as such under this Act, including a society deemed to be so registered by virtue of section 5 (3);
“debentures” means any debentures, debenture stock or bonds of a credit union, whether constituting a charge on the assets of the credit union or not;
“general meeting” means an annual general meeting or a special general meeting;
“meeting”, includes, where the registered rules of a credit union so allow, a meeting of delegates appointed by members;
“member of the family”, in relation to any person, means that person's parent, grandfather, grandmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, husband, wife, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law;
“the Minister” means the Minister for Enterprise and Employment;
“non-qualifying member”, in relation to a credit union, has the meaning given by section 17 (4);
“officer”, in relation to a credit union, includes a chairman (or president), vice-chairman (or vice-president), treasurer, secretary, a member of the board of directors or of a principal Committee or Supervisory Committee, employee, credit officer or credit control officer, but does not include an auditor appointed by the credit union in accordance with the requirements of this Act;
“the organisation meeting” has the meaning given by section 77 (1);
“pass book” includes any type of written statement of account;
“principal Committee” in relation to a credit union, means a credit committee, credit control committee, membership committee;
“persons claiming through a member” includes the executors or administrators and assignees of a member and, where nomination is allowed, his nominee;
“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister and “prescribe” shall be construed accordingly;
“the register” means the register maintained under section 8 (5);
“registered” means for the time being entered in the register and “registration” shall be construed accordingly;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of Friendly Societies;
“regulations” means regulations made by the Minister under this Act;
“regulatory directions” has the meaning given by section 87 (3);
“savings” includes shares and deposits (if any);
“savings protection scheme” has the meaning given by section 46 (2);
“share” means, in relation to a credit union, each sum of one pound standing to the credit of a member of that credit union in the register of members required by this Act to be kept by that credit union;
“special general meeting” shall be construed in accordance with section 79 ;
“special resolution” means a resolution which—
(a) is passed by a majority of not less than three quarters of such members of a credit union for the time being entitled under the rules to vote as may have voted in person at any general meeting of which notice, specifying the intention to propose the resolution, has been duly given according to the rules, and
(b) is confirmed by a majority of such members for the time being entitled under the rules to vote as may have voted in person at a subsequent general meeting of which notice has been duly given held not less than 14 days and not more than 28 days from the day of the meeting at which the resolution was first passed;
“Supervisory Committee” has the meaning given it by section 58 (1);
“surplus funds” shall be construed in accordance with section 45 (2);
“voluntary assistant”, in relation to a credit union, means a member of the credit union who, although not an officer of the credit union, is engaged in any way (but without remuneration) in the operation of the credit union.
(2) Any reference in this Act to a member present at a meeting means, in the case of a member which is not a natural person, being represented at the meeting by a representative, as mentioned in section 82 (4).
(3) In this Act a reference to a Part, section or Schedule is to a Part, section or Schedule of or to this Act, unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended.
(4) In this Act a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is to the subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended.
(5) In this Act a reference to an enactment includes a reference to that enactment as amended by or under any enactment, including this Act.
Orders and regulations.
3. —(1) Any power under this Act to make an order includes power to amend or revoke an order made in the exercise of that power.
(2) Every order or regulation made under this Act, other than an order under section 1 (2), shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after it is made; and, if a resolution annulling the order or regulation is passed by either such House within the next twenty-one days on which that House has sat after the order or regulation is laid before it, the order or regulation shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.
(3) Except in so far as any provision of this Act otherwise provides, any power conferred by this Act on the Registrar to give directions shall be exerciseable by rules and for the purposes of section 2 of the Statutory Instruments Act, 1947 , any rules made by the Registrar under this Act shall be taken to be of a character which affects a class of the public.
(4) Any order, regulation, direction or rules made under this Act—
(a) may contain such consequential, supplementary and ancillary provisions as the Minister or, as the case may be, the Registrar considers necessary or expedient; and
(b) may make different provision for different cases or descriptions of cases.
4. —Any expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.
Repeals and transition from the former law.
5. —(1) The following enactments are hereby repealed—
(a) the Act of 1966; and
(b) Part III of the Industrial and Provident Societies (Amendment) Act, 1978 .
(2) After the commencement of this subsection, a society may not become registered as a credit union except under this Act.
(3) A society which, immediately before the commencement of this subsection, was registered as a credit union under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1978, shall, at that commencement, be deemed to be registered as a credit union under this Act and, accordingly—
(a) after that commencement, no provision of those Acts shall apply to a credit union; and
(b) except in so far as the rules of a credit union which is deemed to be so registered are contrary to any provision of this Act, those rules, as in existence immediately before the commencement of this subsection, shall be regarded as its registered rules at that commencement.
(4) Subject to subsection (5), if at any time the Registrar is satisfied that a society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1978, or the Friendly Societies Acts, 1896 to 1977, is carrying on its affairs in such a way that its objects are wholly or substantially those of a credit union, he may, notwithstanding anything in those Acts, direct the society, within a period specified in the direction—
(a) to cease all its activities or some activities specified in the direction; or
(b) to wind up its affairs; or
(c) to register by virtue of this Act as a credit union;
and a society to which such a direction is given shall comply with it within the specified period.
(5) Subsection (4) does not apply to a society—
(a) which was registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1936, between 24th January 1962 and 31st August 1966; and
(b) the objects of which have at all times been wholly or substantially those of a credit union.
(6) After the commencement of this subsection, a society the objects or proposed objects of which are wholly or substantially those specified in section 6 (2) may not be registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1978.
(7) Section 3 (3) shall not apply to directions under subsection (4).