Prime Minister: Credit Unions Have A Vital Role To Play

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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is pictured as he delivers the feature address at the 50th Anniversary dinner and awards ceremony of the Barbados Police Co-operative Credit Union Limited’s dinner and awards ceremony at Accra Beach Resort last Saturday.??

Credit unions in Barbados are being called upon to do their part in helping the country to achieve its goal of economic emancipation.

This was underscored last Saturday by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as he delivered the feature address and presented awards at the Barbados Police Cooperative Credit Union Limited’s 50th anniversary dinner and awards ceremony. It was held at the Accra Beach Resort in Christ Church.

Mr. Stuart said: Meaningful response to this recession requires all Barbadians to pull together and focus on creating wealth and employment in those sectors in which we have a clear advantage. I am, therefore, asking the Credit Union movement, as I have asked all other stakeholders, to get on board as we make decisive moves towards the long awaited economic liberation of our people."

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is pictured presenting Head of the Regional Security System Grantley Watson with an award. The presentation took place at the 50th anniversary dinner and awards ceremony of the Barbados Police Cooperative Credit Union Limited at Accra Beach Resort.

Citing the allocation of credit union loans as an example of what he termed the "paradox of thrift", Mr. Stuart revealed that the majority of sums were spent on land purchases, home improvements, construction and vehicle acquisition, with only 0.01 per cent going toward business development.

The Prime Minister pointed out that Government’s official policy was "to spread the entrepreneurial culture to a wide cross section of Barbadians in an effort to create wealth and employment, as well as to introduce regulatory reform for the creation of a more effective regime for financial institutions, including non-bank organisations such as credit unions and insurance companies."

He pointed out that when the Financial Services Commission Bill is debated in Parliament, particular attention would be paid to getting the right balance "between rigorous regulation and preventing stifling of the kind of financial innovation that is necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish".

Mr. Stuart gave the assurance that he would examine the possibility of credit unions having a seat at the negotiating table with government, labour and the private sector.

The Barbados Police Co-operative Credit Union Ltd. has a membership of just over 1,100 persons and assets in excess of $20 million.

Award recipients included former Commissioner of Police Grantley Watson and retired police Inspector John Sealy. Those receiving trophies for outstanding service included Inspector Barry Hunte, Guyson Mayers and Hally Haynes.

One of Barbados’ living legends and national hero, the Rt. Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, was also in attendance.??clashley@barbados.gov.bb

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