Press Releases

International Credit Union Day 2021: President's Message

Credit Unions commit to a stronger, healthier nation!

The year 2021 could easily have been one in which plans were stalled and all attention was consumed with the COVID-19 pandemic. While we concede that the economic, health and social fallout have been significant, we in the Credit Union movement in Barbados and around the world have united around the theme “Building Financial Health For A Better Tomorrow” as we celebrate International Credit Union (ICU) Day on Thursday, October 21.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has overshadowed every sphere of human activity since it was discovered in late 2019. However, we in the movement regard the forward-thinking theme for ICU Day as most appropriate for this current circumstance.

Our expansive yet growing membership in Barbados has adopted a stand in which we continue to exhibit confidence in our credit unions. Our members continue to rely on these indigenous financial institutions to support them through one of the most challenging periods in recent history. In turn, members have demonstrated confidence in Credit Unions by increasing their savings in these institutions at a rate much greater than other institutions.

In the latest Financial Stability Report compiled by the Central Bank of Barbados and the Financial Services Commission, it was stated: Total assets of the credit union sector continued to grow during 2020, rising by 7.3 percent on the basis of steady growth in member savings. This asset growth was largely reflected in increased liquid assets in the form of cash and short-term deposits.

As a reflection of this year’s ICU Day theme, our credit unions have been adapting to the changing environment and responding to the unique needs of our members.
In this connection, we have recognised the required shift away from the unsustainable dependence on fossil fuels to clean energy. To preserve our environment and effect a sustainable future for generations to come, we moved from the planning stage to execution on this initiative.

Our Credit Unions are moving ahead with our exciting Barbados Sustainable Energy Cooperative Society Ltd. (CoopEnergy) which seeks to invest in sustainable energy, energy storage, and energy efficiency projects on behalf of members.

Aligned with Barbados’ National Energy Policy which pursues a goal of carbon neutral economy by 2030, CoopEnergy will invest in major energy infrastructure in Barbados; compete for opportunities to secure Power Purchase Agreements; provide loans, technical services, administrative services and other support to other cooperatives and other local interests who are seeking to operate in the local energy market; and acquire facilities to provide sustainable energy.

Also incorporated in the 2021 theme of a better financial future has been our investments in the technology required to support the expanding needs of Credit Union members.

Apart from strengthening our technological capabilities to respond to the demands for online capabilities, and adapting to the shifting economic and social demands of our community during these difficult times, Credit Unions also responded tangibly to the critical health demands caused by the pandemic.

Mindful of the critical importance of having as many citizens vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 viral illness, Credit Unions jointly donated $89 000 to the National Vaccination Fund. The funds represented the donations from a cross section of our membership.

This year has been unprecedented in the number and range of challenges that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic. And though we in the movement have demonstrated resilience and have prepared contingencies, unfortunately we have lost members to the disease and others have had their livelihoods upended. To the families of those who succumbed to the illness, we extend our sincere regret and condolences.

As President of the Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League (BCCUL) I pledge on behalf of our membership, our continued commitment to the health and prosperity of the movement and our nation.

Happy International Credit Union Day 2021!



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