Minister of State for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, has commended the country’s credit unions for the important role they play in improving the lives of ordinary Jamaicans.
She was delivering the main address at the Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League's (JCCUL) 70th anniversary Strategic Conference awards dinner on Friday (May 25) at the Ritz Carlton Golf and Spa Resort in Montego Bay.
Mrs. Ffolks Abrahams said the government is committed to the movement and in creating a climate in which members can continue to flourish and contribute to nation building. “Our role as government is to remove the impediments and to create the environment to enable your future growth and development and at the same time, the growth and development of our country,” she stated.
“We…stand behind you as a credit union movement, we believe in you, we believe that you are important to us, and we will stand behind your progress,” she added.
Citing the many achievements of the 42-member JCCUL throughout its seven decade history, the State Minister said the successes illustrate the dynamism, potential and sustainability of the movement.
She noted that despite challenges, the movement continues to show growth in savings, loans and assets. As at December 31, 2011 total loans were recorded at $42.31 billion, a growth of 12.67 per cent, while total savings and total assets grew by 8.9 per cent and 9.76 per cent, respectively.
Meanwhile, President of the JCCUL, Jonathan Brown, noted that over the years, the credit unions have been a vital means of achieving financial independence for many Jamaican families. He said that it is the intention of the movement to capture a greater share of the country’s financial market.
The three- day conference is being held under the theme: ‘Shared efficiencies through transformation and innovation’.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter