NEW YEAR’ S MESSAGE FROM BCCUL PRESIDENT HALLY HAYNES
Credit Unions: Ready to play a greater role in re-shaping the financial system to meet global standards
As we look to the New Year 2019 with hope, peace and joy, let us continue to work towards achieving excellence in the operations of each and every credit union ensuring that our members remain central to our decision-making process.
There is no doubt that last year has been challenging for families especially with the implementation of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme. In this regard, Credit Unions remain committed to supporting our members in keeping with our philosophy “people helping people”. The Barbados Cooperative League has embarked on a programme designed especially those who lost their jobs as a result of the Government retrenchment programme.
Notwithstanding the challenges confronting our country, we have seen a renewed interest in the co-operative business model with bank depositors moving their accounts to Credit Unions either for better deposit rates, better customer services and from increase and excessive bank charges.
In fact, members have been further demanding credit unions to meet their needs through the provision of foreign exchange and credit and debit card services. In response to this request, the Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League Limited and CAPITA Financial Services Inc which is owned by the Barbados Public Workers Co-operative Credit Union Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding to deliver the aforementioned services to our credit union members. CAPITA Financial Services Inc is currently awaiting approval from the Central Bank with respect to the application which was filed in 2017 to facilitate the foreign exchange and credit and debit card services to our members.
While we understand the conservatism in approving such applications, the needs of our members must remain paramount especially with the developments that have been occurring in our banking sector. The approval of this application will also position us among international credit unions such as those in Canada and the United States who already have this facility. We will continue our work on this matter in the new year as we look forward to the approval of Central Bank on this application.
Comrades, in relation to the Deposit Insurance Scheme for Credit Unions, which we lobbied for more than ten (10) years, the Parliament of Barbados passed legislation in 2012 to give effect for the Scheme to be available to credit union depositors. Please note that we met with the Financial Services Commission (FSC) as well as the Barbados Deposit Insurance Corporation (BDIC) to facilitate the implementation of this programme. We were hoping to launch the Deposit Insurance Scheme for credit union members during the last quarter of the calendar year 2018, however this did not materialise. We are therefore appealing to the Government of Barbados to facilitate the implementation of the Deposit Insurance Scheme for credit union members before the end of the 2018-2019 Financial Year.
It is important that credit union members are afforded the same protection that is offered to depositors in the banking sector. We are confident that this initiative will enhance the credit union movement and will result in greater remittances from the Diaspora.
The Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League Limited look forward to playing a greater role in the socio-economic development of our country and look forward to being part of the Social Partnership in our own right as we represent a large majority of citizens.
We are confident and optimistic, that throughout this coming year we will continue to increase the added-value of the Credit Union Movement to its members, the wider financial sector and society as a whole.
In closing, let me on the behalf of the Board of Directors, the Executives and Staff of the Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League Limited and the entire Co-operative family extend best wishes to you and your family as we look forward to a prosperous 2019. May Almighty God continue to bless us all.
Happy New Year.