Local unions observe Int’l Credit Union Day

GIS: It is Incumbent to Preserve the Identity of Co-Operatives to which Credit Unions Belong, Board Says.

Local credit unions are being urged to focus on educating the youth about the benefits of financial literacy and credit unions.

The appeal has come from Stephenson Etienne, a representative of the Board of Directors of the Saint Lucia Co-operative Credit Union League Limited, on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of International Credit Union Day.

“Credit Unions over the years have brought to reality the dreams of many young people in Saint Lucia by providing financing to young entrepreneurs for start-up small businesses, to young scholars for continuing education, and to young couples who want to start their lives together,” said Mr. Etienne. “To you, our young co-operators the onus is on you to recognize your role in developing this nation and capitalize on the opportunities presented by way of co-operative enterprises. It is through these initiatives we all can develop our various aptitudes in the quest to build resilient organizations which can stand against the forces that seek to undermine us.”

Locally, the credit union movement comprises sixteen unions. Mr. Etienne said continued growth, as demonstrated by membership, assets, loans and deposits, has propelled the movement to remain steadfast in its pursuits to serve the common needs of members.

“As a movement, it is incumbent on us to preserve the identity of co-operatives to which credit unions belong, to ensure the continuity of this successful business model that provided an alternative to improve the standard of living in Saint Lucia. As a forward thinking movement, we should be cognizant of the national footprint which has been established, and while threats such as new legislation, emerging technologies and trends within the financial industry have the potential to erode the core foundation of credit unions, the onus is on existing co-operators to rise up and protect member-owned business for use by future generations.”

Collectively, the credit union movement in Saint Lucia has a membership of about 93,000, and an asset base which has grown to $800,000 million dollars. The movement provides funding to members for various purposes, namely education, housing, micro businesses, medicals and other personal loans.

Meanwhile, the credit union movement of Saint Lucia has extended deepest sympathies to its sister movements around the region, particularly Dominica, which suffered severe damage during the passage of Hurricane Maria.

The Saint Lucia Cooperative Credit Union League has begun a mobilization drive among its member credit unions, the proceeds of which will be remitted to the Dominica Credit Union League to assist their members in recovery efforts.

International Credit Union Day was observed on Oct. 19 under the theme “Dreams Thrive Here.”

For the full text of the League’s message for International Credit Union Day 2017, download the attached pdf.