Northern Ireland news

Savers to be compensated after Belfast credit union fails

Braniel Credit Union was run from Braniel Community Centre. Picture by Hugh Russell

MORE than 200 members of a Belfast credit union will be compensated after it collapsed.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) will put up more than £230,000 to protect members of Braniel Credit Union in east Belfast.

The credit union went into default on Monday.

However, it had been closed for several days before it was officially announced it had failed.

It is the first credit union to fail in Northern Ireland for almost four years.

The FSCS said it will compensate the "vast majority" of the union's 238 members within seven days.

Members with up to £1,000 in their account will receive a letter to get cash over the counter at a nearby Post Office.

Anyone with a balance of more than £1,000 will receive a cheque for their balance direct from FSCS.

The FSCS said it expects to pay out just over £239,000 to Braniel Credit Union members.

Alex Kuczynski, chief corporate affairs officer at FSCS, said the body covers savings up to £85,000 and joint accounts for £170,000.

"FSCS is protecting the members of Braniel Credit Union Ltd and helping them to get back on track. Our aim is for the vast majority of its customers to get their money back within seven days," he said.

"Everyone needs to know that their money is safe and about the safeguards that are in place."

He added: "Recently we increased our limits for the wide range of products and services we cover."

"As well as for claims against a credit union, bank or building society, customers can now be assured that if they lose money as a result of the failure of an authorised financial services firm such as their investment or mortgage adviser, or debt management provider, that FSCS provides a higher level of protection up to £85,000 per person," he said.

The credit union is the seventh to fail in the north since 2013.

Others which have gone into default include Ballymacarrett Credit Union in east Belfast and Rowallane Credit Union in Saintfield, Co Down.

Anyone with queries about the credit union can contact liquidator Joan Rice of Harbinson Mulholland on 028 9044 5100.

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Credit unions in Northern Ireland which have failed in the last six years

• Portadown Diamond Credit Union – went into default on May 2 2013

• Carleton Credit Union, Portadown – went into default on June 14 2013

• Glenard Credit Union, Belfast – went into default on June 23 2014

• Ballymacarrett Credit Union, Belfast – went into default on October 17 2014

• Lower Iveagh Credit Union, Dromore – went into default on November 19 2014

• Rowallane Credit Union, Saintfield – went into default on August 19 2015

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