An outspoken social activist is calling on the Financial Services Commission (FSC) to keep a close eye on the credit union of which she is a member.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY this afternoon following Monday’s special general meeting of the Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union Limited on Monday (BPWCCUL), Marsha Hinds expressed concern about how the nation’s largest credit union was being managed.
She declined to provide details, saying she feared a financial backlash from the 48-year-old credit union, but Hinds was adamant that the financial watchdog ought to be more vigilant on the credit union’s operations.
“I don’t want to put the issues in the public domain because I don’t want to cause a run on the credit union. What I do want though, is for the FSC to pay attention to what is happening. I want the membership to continue to pay attention to what is happening,” she said, adding that it has gotten to the point where there needs to be a clear signal to the board that the credit union does not belong to them.
Earlier this month, a group of concerned members led by Hinds called for answers from the board to what they considered troubling issues.
This prompted the BPWCCUL directors to call the special meeting to bare all to the membership in an attempt to prevent “a totally false picture” of impropriety from emerging at the billion-dollar credit union.
Back then, Hinds – as spokesperson for the concerned members – said their agenda included discussions on the forensic audit which the credit union’s supervisory committee had urged since last year.
“We clearly said [in a letter to the board] that we wanted to discuss the changes to the governance structure of the credit union; that we wanted to discuss the suggestion by the supervisory committee for a forensic audit to be done and that we wanted to discuss any and all other matters relating to the financial management and prudence of the credit union,” Hinds had told Barbados TODAY.
But a top official of the credit union dismissed the group’s claims regarding the forensic audit, suggesting that they gave an incorrect impression that something was amiss at the credit union.
“The question of an audit: these are things being thrown about which paint a totally false picture. People are saying things without any evidence. It is not good, giving an impression that there is something there to be hidden,” said the source who declined to be identified as he was not authorized by the board to speak on the matter.
Hinds charged that the board appeared to be dragging its feet on having the meeting to deal with their concerns.
But in a swift rebuttal, the official told Barbados TODAY that the meeting would be held, with updates on the group corporate redesign and the supervisory internal audit on the agenda.
“We are going to come with a full presentation . . . . All members can come and ask whatever they want to,” said the executive, adding that nothing will be hidden as there is nothing sinister going on in the credit union,” he said then.
But today, Hinds-Layne said she did not get all the answers she expected and left the meeting with matters still outstanding.
When contacted, Group Chief Executive Officer Glyne Harrison was unavailable for comment. (EJ)