There are about 70 credit unions in Lithuania, but they take up a very small share of the market, accounting for merely 2% of all loans. The new law would allow credit unions to merge into bigger companies.
Vitas Vasiliauskas, the president of the Bank of Lithuania, has asked Parliament Speaker Loreta Graužinienė not to block the bill and pass it during the spring session.
The central bank says that many credit unions in the country are operating at a loss and allowing them to merge would shore up their efficiency. Vasiliauskas says that larger credit unions could successfully compete with banks in the financial market.
Over the last year, four credit unions in the country went bankrupt.