The vast majority of credit union directors and managers believe the movement must change to attract new members and face the demands of the future.

A conference in Dublin has heard that a survey of credit unions showed that most of them support greater co-operation and possible mergers.

The conference held in Dublin was attended by credit unions representatives from across the island of Ireland and also by international experts.

They heard that an independent survey of credit union managers and directors showed that 90% of them are unhappy with the current leadership of the sector and believe they need to change their image to attract new members.

Most of them support greater co-operation within the movement and possible mergers and most of them feel that regulation is not a bad thing, but should be implemented in accordance with the ethos of the sector.

However 90% also feel optimistic about the future.

The conference was told by Mark Meyers of the American Filene Research Institute that credit unions in the US had met the difficulties of the recession by cost-cutting, consolidation and innovation and that Irish credit unions should do the same.