A review group set up by Finance Minister Brian Cowen has recommended increasing lending limits for credit unions.

Under current legislation a maximum of 20% of a credit union's loan portfolio can be outstanding for periods of more than five years, of which 10% can be outstanding for more than ten years.

The report says these limits should rise to 40%% and 15% respectively, for credit unions which are approved by the Registrar of Credit Unions.

Minister Cowen said he would bring forward legislation to give effect to the changes. Credit unions have long been seeking changes in the rules governing their lending.