DUBLIN, Ireland (9/14/11)--The Irish League of Credit Unions is questioning why government regulators have restricted the lending of nearly 300 credit unions to consumers. The Irish Central Bank has imposed lending restrictions on seven out of 10 credit unions, according to several sources in the sector (The Irish Independent Sept. 13). Credit union members with good credit are being turned down for loans while other members are being forced to turn to moneylenders, credit unions told the newspaper. Some restrictions are based on the total amount a credit union can lend out in any one month, while others limit the amount that can be loaned to an individual member. In the past two years, roughly 70,000 people have joined Ireland’s 409 credit unions to gain access to credit, the paper said. Irish league President Jimmy Johnstone sent a letter to the Central Bank, which said, “The league board, like its member credit unions, is exasperated by the imposition of far-reaching regulatory restrictions, which are directly responsible for credit unions not being able to lend to long-standing, loyal members,” said the newspaper. Members are unable to pay even basic utility bills because credit unions no longer have the means to extend or reschedule members loans, the letter added. Most credit unions have enough available funds to lend to members once a proper evaluation of the members’ ability to repay the loan has been completed, a spokesman for the Irish league told the paper.