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Credit Union Auckland seeks credit rating to protect reputation

Credit Union Auckland will seek a credit rating to protect its reputation, despite falling outside the criteria for the central bank's non-bank deposit takers' prudential regime.

Tuesday, September 29th 2009, 5:00AM

by Paul McBeth

At its annual general meeting in Auckland this week, chairman Greg Carll said the cooperative will pursue a rating from one of the three approved agencies under the Reserve Bank's new regime, even though its deposits are below the $20 million threshold set by the regulator.

"To protect our position in the market, and secure the support of the investing public, our board is of the view that we should acquire a credit rating, and we are working towards that end," Carll said in a statement.

Carll welcomed policy makers' moves to "clean up unprofessional and unethical participants in the financial services industry," but said regulation has crept into areas of the sector that already operated with "integrity."

"Successive governments and bureaucrats have shown little interest in the cooperative sector and scant regard for a successful credit union movement," he said. "Too often we are lumped in with the broader finance company market and treated as though we were as bad as them."

He called for a relaxation of mounting regulations, saying the costs incurred for greater legislation was diminishing returns for the credit union's members.

The cooperative announced its operating surplus fell 3% to $625,307 for the 12 months ended June 30. Dividends paid to members rose 5% to $544,495.

"With a strong equity position and exceptionally good liquidity supported by our government guarantee, we offer a sound alternative in an uncertain financial services market," Carll said.

 

Paul is a staff writer for Good Returns based in Wellington.

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