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  • Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, has commended the Credit Union Movement for being “one of the fundamental building blocks of modern Jamaican society.”
  • Dr. Phillips said the League and Movement emerged just as the modern political and social contours of Jamaica started to take shape and has since contributed much to nation building.
  • Dr. Phillips said despite the consolidations that have taken place among credit unions, the movement has remained strong.

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, has commended the Credit Union Movement for being “one of the fundamental building blocks of modern Jamaican society.”

Addressing the 2015 Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League Limited Convention and 74th Annual General Meeting at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James, on May 29, Dr. Phillips said the League and Movement emerged just as the modern political and social contours of Jamaica started to take shape and has since contributed much to nation building.

“Over the years, it has established an impressive record, both in terms of its growth and in terms of its significance to the mobilization of savings and the facilitation of investments of many Jamaicans who have had access to the financial system, only through the credit union,” Dr. Phillips said.

“The social and economic significance of the Movement goes further than that…For one thing, it represents an embodiment of the co-operative movement in Jamaica and it represents a major element in the volunteer movement,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips said despite the consolidations that have taken place among credit unions, the movement has remained strong.

“There were some 35 credit unions at the start at 2015 and despite the consolidations, the overall membership extends to close to a million Jamaicans. Credit unions represent about 7 per cent of total assets held by deposit taking institutions and in terms of loan growth, it has been healthy, recording a 47 per cent growth in the period between 2009 and 2015,” the Minister informed.

Commenting on the future of the credit union movement in Jamaica, Dr. Phillips said amicable discussions are ongoing with a view to having them and other micro-financial institutions operate under a regulatory framework.

“We have been having discussions over many years with the credit union league about ways in which the movement can be brought within the framework of our domestic regulations. From the reports I have received, I am pleased with (the progress) of the discussions. I want to commend the leadership of the credit union league for the spirit in which they have approached these discussions,” the Minister said.

 

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