Understanding business models in the context of Irish credit union transformation

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2023 JCS 56(2)_ Money et al.pdf(308.11 KB)
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Money, Nick
McCarthy, Olive
Jones, Paul A.
Byrne, Noreen
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UK Society for Co-operative Studies
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Credit unions in the Republic of Ireland (Ireland) are important community institutions. Over the last decade, however, Irish regulators and government have commented on a strategically critical financial problem for the sector and called for a change to the business model, but there is no statement of what this business model means. This paper understands a business model as the way an organisation creates and delivers value for its customers and itself, so whether articulated or not, it is plainly vital to organisational success. This paper reviews credit union financial performance, engages with the literature on business models, conceptually and as applied to banking, co-operatives, and credit unions. It then considers how it could support the transformation needed for the sector’s successful development. The paper connects the credit unions’ enduring financial performance problem with the problem of value creation for their members, concluding that there are business model frameworks that could help credit unions restate their proposition, while incorporating their social purpose. However, there is no consensus among academics or practitioners about what the Irish credit union business model is and therefore what should change. A further knowledge gap is identified in relation to credit unions’ own perspectives on the relevance of business models and change.
Credit unions , Ireland , Value exchange , Ireland , Business model , Sustainability
Money, N., McCarthy, O., Jones, P.A. and Byrne, N. (2023) ‘Understanding business models in the context of Irish credit union transformation’, Journal of Co-operative Studies, 56(2), pp. 23–34. Available at: https://doi.org/10.61869/FHFM1239.
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