Deposit insurance top priority for BCCULL

Deposit insurance top priority for BCCULL


Getting deposit insurance for credit union members is a top priority for the Barbados Co-op & Credit Union League Ltd (BCCUL) this year.

Kemar Cumberbatch, President of the BCCUL, stated that the League is in the advanced stages of finalizing talks with key stakeholders to make this possible.

Deposit insurance serves as an institution’s guarantee that an account holder’s money at an insured bank or credit union is safe up to a certain amount.

“In this year, our primary focus is solidifying deposit insurance. We are in advanced discussions with the Ministry of Finance, having had meetings with the working group, comprising members of the FSC, the central bank, and Chief Parliamentary Counsel’s Office.”

The credit union movement boasts over $3 billion in member deposits, and Cumberbatch emphasized the importance of deposit insurance coverage in the event of any major institutional incident.

BCCUL is also advocating for legislative amendments from the government to allow credit unions more flexibility in their investments.

“We are hoping to work on having amendments made to the legislation, or even credit union-specific legislation, to enable credit unions to engage in activities currently restricted. There are certain aspects that hinder the sector from investing in specific areas, and we hope to address these issues.”

Membership Boost

Cumberbatch disclosed that the credit union movement has steadily grown, with approximately 7,000 new members added last year. He attributed this growth to the movement’s “leadership” over the years.

“When individuals faced job losses, the credit union’s immediate response was to offer moratoriums to our members. Given that tourism is Barbados’ primary industry, and many of our members work in the sector, they lost jobs. Our members appreciated that we were working with them and not merely seeking to repossess their property or vehicles.”

While delinquency remains a concern for all lending institutions, Cumberbatch stressed the importance of focusing on assisting members whenever possible.

“Delinquency is always a concern, but our proactive approach involves reaching out to members facing challenges. We aim to collaborate with them because, at the core of the credit union ethos, is not to repossess property but to work together. While achieving zero or single-digit delinquency would be ideal, our commitment to working closely with members mitigates this concern.”

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