Despite the economic hurdle currently being faced by certain sectors of the economy, the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) Co-operative Credit Union Limited is boasting of being in a healthy financial state with current asset standing at $176.2M.
This pronouncement was made during the union’s 33rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) that took place at the Grenada Boys Secondary School last week Thursday.
In his address to members, President Andre Martin reported that through the dedicated Management and Staff, Board and Committees, “our credit union has continued to be a viable entity, and has performed well in a challenged economy.”
“The financial indicators have shown favourable growth in assets, savings, equity shares, loans, surpluses and institutional capital,” Martin said.
There was an increase in assets of 15 percent, savings grew by 14.2 percent, equity shares grew by 8.85 percent, and a loan portfolio of 17.41 percent.
Martin told the AGM, the financial indicators have also shown that they have managed well the delinquency ratio on the credit union’s expenditure.
He said the credit union has ensured that there is a strict adherence to the Cooperative’s Society Act of 2011, the Anti-money laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing Act, and Foreign Tax Compliance Act.
“As a consequence our membership must understand the credit union’s duty to comply with these regulations,” he remarked.
The GUT Credit Union President announced that members will soon be able to have easier access to their finances through the launch of the ATM and Connex Debt Card.
He said bearing in mind the new regulations, new products, and new challenges, necessary changes have to be made within the organization.
The Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions (GARFIN) representative Alister Phillip disclosed that the credit union sector has achieved another year of significant growth.
Phillip reported that total asset of the sector which stood at 501M the previous year of 2015 has increased to 607M as of December 2016.
Total loan for the same period amounted to 487M,while there was a total deposit of 575M.
He also said membership continues to grow, and it is now approaching 16,000 members.
However, Phillip indicated that despite of the successes in 2016 there are still some challenges being faced in some areas.
He said that as the regulatory body, GARFIN continues to play its part to ensure that a safe and sound credit union sector is maintained.
However, he implored credit unions to continue to take a cautious approach to managing their affairs in supervising the increasing challenging and very limited market place.
The GARFIN representative urged that the strong growth experienced be carefully and prudently managed.
“Therefore, a comprehensive asset liability management policy framework that allows for continuous risk assessment inclusive of risk management, risk measurement, and regulatory compliance… be formalized,” he said.
He commended the GUT Co-operative Credit Union Limited for its support for programmes put forward by the regulatory body for safeguarding the financial sector.
Phillip announced that for the past 18 months GARFIN has been working assiduously to strengthen the new risk-based approach for all credit unions.
President of the Grenada Co-operative League, Nash Griffith informed the AGM that co-operatives is about people helping people, to help themselves, and to assist others.
Griffith who looked at the theme of the AGM, “Anchored In Our Co-operative Values, Investing in Our People,” felt that some credit union members believe the credit union has forgotten the reason for the inception which is people helping people to improve their economic standard.
He admonished the leadership of the Credit Union to ensure that members participate in the consensus of the decision-making process.