Question – I am currently under financial pressure in my business which is a small business.  I have a Credit Union loan of €42,000.00 and I have shares in the particular Credit Union totalling €15,000.00.  I want to draw down my shares in order to ease the financial pressure on me and my business but the Credit Union is insisting that the shares cannot be touched until my loan has been discharged.  What is the legal position here?

Any member of a Credit Union who wishes to draw down a loan will sign a Credit Agreement. There are of course terms and conditions attaching to every Credit Agreement and within each Credit Agreement there is a specific clause with respect to the pledging of any shares held by a member in a Credit Union as security for any loan granted to that particular member.  The specific clause confirms that for the duration of any loan, any shares held by the member at the commencement of the loan will continue to be held as security.  I would have to say that the clause is very clear in terms of what it states in the Credit Agreement and while a member could argue that they did not understand the extent of that particular clause, it is unlikely that this argument would stand up to scrutiny.  It would seem unfortunately that those shares will not be available for withdrawal until the loan is cleared in full.