Caribbean credit unions not fulfilling potential – T&T PM

-UG Business Professor concurs, says local commercial banks reaping ‘the sweet of the deal’

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley

The success which Credit Unions in the Caribbean have had in attracting increasing numbers of members and exponentially growing their savings continues to be compromised by their failure to provide optimum returns on those savings through their inability to disentangle themselves from the less than lucrative savings mechanisms offered by commercial banks,” Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has said. 

 At an event in Port of Spain last week designed to mark the opening of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions Convention, Rowley declared that while Credit Unions in the region were “fit and well” their “real significance, true value and full potential……..will; be lost to the world at large, if, side by side, the movement does not come face to face with commensurate levels of independence, responsibility, accountability, authority and maturity.” Specifically, Rowley said that Credit Unions in the Caribbean must be “free from dependence upon commercial banks and private sector institutions to lodge your membership shares and deposits.” Rather, he said that Credit Unions should be “free to put the mechanisms in place, if they so desire in the provision of the widest range of financial services to all and sundry, noting at the same time that costs associated with ATM’s, purchase and sales of foreign exchange, wire transfers and letters of debit and credit all eat away at shares, deposits and dividends so sacrificially and painstakingly accumulated…..