Press Releases

Minister Benn: Respect due to Credit Unions

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Graduates of this year’s Barbados Cooperative & Credit Union League courses have been encouraged not to allow the achievements of credit unions to be eroded, because they have contributed to the development of Barbados.

The caution came from Minister of Commerce and Trade Haynesley Benn as he addressed the audience at Hilton Barbados on Saturday night during a graduation ceremony.

In lauding the students for completing the courses to further aid their development, Benn said: “Those who feel concerned by statements made in the Budgetry Proposals; let us have a dialogue and we can ask those over us to consider our concerns.”

One of the proposals in the 2010 Budget was the elimination of the tax-free allowances for savings with credit unions and investment in mutual funds at a saving to Government of $9 million a year.

Benn also told those that in view of the challenges assailing today’s financial markets, their training was timely, as the management of risks was essential.

He advised the graduates to never lose sight of why the cooperative movement existed, and encouraged them to utilise their skills and knowledge acquired through the courses.

He also urged them to be active in the development of their respective credit unions.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of ongoing education and training courses such as those offered by the league,” he stated.

Graduates completed a number of workshops, as well as institutional strengthening project online courses.

Carlos Bovell, Drayton Carter, Susan Fitt, Gregory Holder and Brent Shuffler were the five candidates who achieved distinctions in their respective courses.

Benn challenged the officers of the Credit Union League to be the league for all cooperatives and not only for credit unions. He said while the other cooperatives continued to make significant positive impacts on the lives and livelihood of their members, they were in large part in need of the training assistance now available to the credit union sector.

The minister also told the graduates that every effort should be made to ensure that the reputation earned by Barbados in the international financial markets was not sullied.

As such, the minister noted the implementation of the Financial Services Commission was on stream and this entity would provide an integrated regulatory framework for the non-banking financial services sector.

“Government’s objective is to ensure that growth in this sector is achieved in a sustainable manner and the safety and soundness of the regulated entities are assured,” he added.

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