The Central Bank of Ireland has published a consultation paper on the investment framework for credit unions. Under existing regulations, credit unions can invest in a range of specified investment classes. These include government securities, bank deposits, bank bonds and collective investment schemes made up of these instruments. These are subject to specified maturity and concentration limits.

To ensure the investment regulations remain appropriate for the sector, the Central Bank undertook to review the investment regulations in 2017. The purpose of this review was to consider the appropriateness and prudence of expanding the range of investment classes available to credit unions.

Following this review, the Central Bank is now consulting on potential changes to the framework. These changes could facilitate investment in additional types of bonds and in social housing. They could also introduce changes to the existing counterparty concentration limit for credit unions.

The consultation paper seeks views from credit unions and other sector stakeholders on the potential changes outlined, together with feedback as to whether there are additional investment classes appropriate for credit unions, taking account of the appropriate risk profile for such investments.

The consultation will be open until 28 June 2017. Any queries in relation to content of this consultation paper should be directed to rcuconsultation@centralbank.ie