CREDIT unions have been encouraged to target young adults in a move that could see up to €2bn lent to buy cars and fund education.
Under-34s have a high regard for the community-owned lenders, a Dublin conference hosted by international insurance provider to the sector Cuna Mutual heard.
Credit Union’s are seen by young adults as more understanding than banks.
But the movement needs to speed up the delivery of electronic payments, the conference heard.
Four out of 10 young adults are members of credit unions and half of this group would consider a loan of around €6,300, research conducted for the conference by Behaviour and Attitudes (B&A) has found.
The conference heard most members of credit unions are savers rather than borrowers, a situation that means many of the locally-owned lenders were struggling to make a profit.
Chief executive of Cuna Mutual Paul Walsh said credit unions were seen by young people as more understanding than banks, easier to deal with and a great place for loans.
According to the recent B&A research, 47pc of 18 to 34-year-olds would consider the credit union for their loans, which they mainly need for education, holidays or to buy a car.
The survey commissioned by Cuna found that the majority of young people regard online banking and mobile banking as a prerequisite for joining credit unions.