Credit Unions and Societies

This page is for societies registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Acts (Northern Ireland) 1969 and 1976 and the Credit Unions (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. The Department for the Economy is responsible for the policy and legislative framework.

The regulation of credit unions is the responsibility of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The registration function for Credit Unions and Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies is the responsibility of the FCA.

Legislation updates

The Corporate Insolvency & Governance Act 2020

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Amendment of Relevant Period for Meetings of Registered Societies and Credit Unions No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 introduced a temporary measure enabling credit unions, co-operatives and community benefit societies to hold statutory meetings in a flexible manner. The temporary measure allows statutory meetings to go ahead without being held in a physical location.

The temporary measure expired on 30 December 2020.

The Department for the Economy has made and laid regulations extending the measure to 29 March 2021:

The regulations will be in force from 30 December 2020 but will require approval from the NI Assembly.

The Department of Finance has introduced the Administration of Estates (Small Payments) (Increase of Limit) Order (Northern Ireland) 2020.

There is a limit set on the amount of money that may be released to the beneficiaries of a deceased person from that person’s estate by NI mutuals without the need to obtain a grant of probate. The above legislation has increased that limit to £20,000.

By virtue of section 6(2) of the Administration of Estates (Small Payments) Act (Northern Ireland) 1967, this order applies in relation to deaths occurring, or nominations affected, after the expiration of a period of one month beginning with the date on which the order comes into operation:

Transfer of Registry to the FCA

On 6 April 2018, operational responsibility for the registration of Northern Ireland credit unions and Industrial and Provident Societies moved to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). All registration queries should be directed to the FCA.

Credit Unions and Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Please note that the remaining provisions of the Credit Unions and Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 came into force on 6 April 2018.

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Related to Credit Unions and Societies

Access to information

How to request information from the Department for the Economy including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

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