Credit unions urged to get back to roots
Credits unions in Barbados are being urged to return to “the bosom” of the co-operative movement.
Minister of Small Business and Industry Donville Inniss made the call today as co-operators joined their counterparts from around the world in observing Co-operators’ Day.
“We have 17 registered cooperatives in Barbados who are registered by my ministry. Perhaps I stand to be corrected, but I have always viewed the credit union as the financial arm of the cooperative movement and today in Barbados with 35 licensed and registered regulated credit unions, I am a little bit concerned that the credit union seems to have moved away from the cooperative movement to some extent,” Inniss said.
The festivities to mark international Co-operators’ Day 2015 are being held under the theme “Choose Co-operative, Choose Equality.’
Inniss told those gathered at Pelican Village, The City today that “perhaps the focus of the credit unions today is seeing how they can compete with the traditional commercial banking sector and there in my mind lies a fundamental danger.
“Because at the end of the day, the credit unions must return to and must accept their fundamental origins which is that they emerged from the bosom of the cooperative spirit and I therefore would make a call for credit unions in Barbados to do more with the hundreds of millions of dollars in resources to help us form more cooperatives in Barbados,” he insisted.
He maintained that if this was done then the grouping would be able to thrive as it once did.
“The membership comprises of like minds and you need within the credit unions to step back a bit and ask yourselves how can you in a very cooperative and collaborative manner help your members in the credit union to form co-operatives that can help drive down their cost of living.
“How can you help your members find better insurance policies or the assets that they have to insure . . . [to] ensure that they are able to contain their cost of living,” Inniss noted.
“Now, I don’t mean to be controversial, certainly its not in my nature, but I certainly would hope that the credit unions of Barbados really appreciate and do not forget from whence they have come and that is within the bosom of the co-operative,” Inniss said.