Court Rules Against Irish CULeague

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DUBLIN, Ireland - (11/05/04) -- The Irish League of Credit Unionshas been found by this country's high court to have "abused" itsposition in the market for credit union representation. The170-page decision from Justice Nicholas Kearns upheld action thathad been taken against the Irish league by the CompetitionAuthority, the equivalent of the U.S. Justice Department. Following11 days of arguments, the judge ruled that certain league rules areanti-competitive. The Competition Authority had charged that theILCU breached Ireland's Competition Act by requiring credit unionsto be members of the league before they participate in the Savingsand Protection Scheme. The World Council of credit Union's DavidGrace said the scheme is similar to deposit insurance in the U.S.or to the types of stabilization funds that are in place in somecountries. At issue was whether the requirement ILCU-member creditunions use the loan protection and savings insurance coverage froma company controlled by the league was abuse of its "dominantposition in the market for credit union representation." The legalaction followed a threat from the ILCU in 2003 to disaffiliatecertain member credit unions that had declined to purchase thecoverage. Some of those credit unions joined another group, theCredit Union Development Alliance.

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