Minister of Industry, Donville Inniss, has expressed concern over the seeming distance between credit unions and the co-operative movement.
Speaking over the weekend at celebrations to mark International Co-operators??? Day, 2015, at Pelican Village, he said that there were about 35 licensed and regulated credit unions in Barbados, and it appeared that they had moved away from the co-operative movement to some extent.
He added that it might be because the focus of the credit unions today was on competing with the traditional commercial banking sector, but to his mind, this was a fundamental danger.
???At the end of the day, the credit union must return to and must accept their fundamental origins, which is they emerged from the bosom of the co-operative spirit, and I therefore want to make a call for credit unions in Barbados to do more with their hundreds of millions of dollars in resources to help us form more co-operatives in Barbados.
???It is not just about competing on interest rates and those financial terms and conditions, but to say that your membership comprises individuals of like minds.
You need within the credit union to step back a bit and ask yourselves how can you in a very co-operative and collaborative manner help your members in the credit union form co-operatives that can help to drive down their cost of living, and how you can help your members find the better insurance policies for the assets that they have to insure,??? Mr. Inniss stressed.
He said it was his hope that credit unions in Barbados would appreciate and not forget from where they had come, which was within ???the bosom of the co-operative movement???.??Mr. Inniss added that next year he expected to see many more credit unions actively involved in the work of the co-operatives day planning committee and their various activities.