An alternative approach to oversight: the case of the supervisory committee in Irish credit unions

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Byrne, Noreen
McCarthy, Olive
Ward, Michael
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New Harmony Press Ltd.
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The credit union supervisory committee, as a distinct model of organisational oversight, is very much invisible within corporate governance research. The focus is almost entirely on its corporate counterpart, the audit committee. This means that best practice is based almost entirely on audit committee experience, even though the audit committee model has not always prevented large-scale corporate losses. Audit committee and corporate and co-operative governance literature may benefit from the perspective of alternative models, such as that of the credit union supervisory committee. This paper explores the role of the supervisory committee in credit union governance and the structure of supervision, oversight and regulation within the Irish credit union movement. It reports the findings of a survey of credit union supervisory committees and qualitative interviews with key players in credit union supervision and development in Ireland, including the regulators of the credit union movement. A profile of the composition, activities and skills levels of supervisory committees is examined. The findings show that it is the high level of activity of the supervisory committee and its clear-cut independence that set it apart from other organisational oversight models.
Audit Committees , Credit Unions , Governance , Regulating Financial Services , Supervisory Committees
Byrne, Noreen; McCarthy, Olive; Ward, Michael (2007) 'An alternative approach to oversight: the case of the supervisory committee in Irish credit unions', International Journal of Co-Operative Management, 3 (2), pp. 58-67.
© New Harmony Press Ltd 2007