Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says stakeholder feedback on the Credit Union Special Provisions Bill will be incorporated in the proposed legislation, which he anticipates will be implemented during the next Parliamentary term.
He says the Bill, now being reviewed by stakeholders, aims to bring the credit union movement under the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) regulatory and supervisory framework, thereby making the sector more resilient.
The Minister was speaking during the virtual launch of COK Sodality Cooperative Credit Union Limited’s new Universa Premier Digital Core Banking Suite, at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday (August 12).
“In the next term, we [anticipate] putting that Bill into law. So, what we [hope to] eventually take to Parliament will have the blessing and contribution of the stakeholders,” the Minister said.
Dr. Clarke described the comments from various members of the leadership of the credit union movement welcoming the proposed legislation as “a step in the right direction”, adding that “ultimately, that will lead to greater protection for the movement, and for members in particular”.
He said the move to enact the Bill is in recognition of the sector being an indispensable pillar of Jamaica’s economy.
The Minister contended that with an asset base valued more than $130 billion and a membership of some two million persons, “it has to be a sector that we protect, because in [so doing], we are protecting the livelihoods of over two million Jamaican members”.
Dr. Clarke said among the benefits that will accrue to the sector, consequent on the legislation’s enactment, is the credit union’s access to liquidity from the Central Bank.
He pointed out, however, that regular access to this liquidity window is only available to institutions the BOJ supervises.
This, the Minister pointed out, enables the Central Bank to determine the extent of support that can and will be provided, and the terms under which this arrangement is facilitated.
The Universa Premier Digital Core Banking Suite, which was developed in collaboration with Canadian technology firm Smart Solutions, is a modern browser-based platform designed with an advanced visual interface that can be accessed by COK’s 270,000 members on mobile and desktop devices.
It is intended to enhance COK’s operational efficiency by digitising all transactions.