Irish Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has announced a new scheme to allow credit unions provide small affordable loans. A pilot scheme in 30 credit unions saw 1,300 people accessing the loans, the average amount of which was under €500. A further 50 credit unions have already expressed interest in joining the scheme Up to 400,000 people are estimated to use moneylenders in Ireland.

The pilot Personal Microcredit scheme was launched last year following a report by SFF-Central Bank.