President of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions Yvonne Ridguard-Harris (third from left) making a point to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart while other members of the association listen attentively. (A. Miller/BGIS)
The functions of the Financial Services Commission and the benefits of a properly regulated sector were among the issues discussed, when representatives of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU), paid?? a courtesy call on Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler.
During the meeting in the Committee Room of Parliament last Friday, the Finance Minister acknowledged that the credit union movement was one of the fastest growing institutions in the financial services sector.
In light of this, Mr. Sinckler pointed out that "the world was paying greater attention to how we regulate and are putting greater pressure on us especially in the wake of the 2007 financial collapse".
In turn, President of the CCCU, Yvonne Ridguard-Harris, said the organisation was cognisant of the need for regulation, but cautioned that it must be enabling and not done in such a way as to stifle the future development of the movement.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister described the credit union movement as a highly useful institution that had enriched the lives of citizens.
"We are committed to ensuring that the process continues … and anything that the Government can do to contribute to the deepening, strengthening and widening of the movement, we are willing to do because we understand the contribution the movement is making to the enrichment of the lives of ordinary people across the Caribbean,"?? Mr. Stuart underlined.
The CCCU is a non-profit organisation with branches in 18 countries and assets totalling US $4 billion.