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Credit unions urged to serve seniors

Tony Best

Credit unions urged to serve seniors

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IF?THE?NATION’S?COMMERCIAL?BANKS won’t offer long-term mortgages to senior citizens in Barbados, then the huge and highly successful credit unions should step in and fill the void.
So said Sir Courtney Blackman, a former Governor of Barbados’ Central Bank. Credit unions with hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, he noted, should exercise fiscal prudence by closely scrutinizing each mortgage application from people over the age of 65.
Sir Courtney said that applications should be approved or rejected on a case-by-case basis and not by a hard-and-fast rule dcenying them mortgages.
“Anytime the commercial banks make tactical errors such as failing to provide mortgages to people who are 65 years and over, the credit unions should take advantage of them,” he told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
“The credit unions should be careful and shouldn’t simply say, ‘Oh, we are going to give mortgages to old people.’ That’s because, there will be cases in which it wouldn’t be a sound move to give a person, regardless of age, a mortgage. Soundness is very important in such cases and they shouldn’t say you are old and you can’t get a mortgage.”
Sir Courtney endorsed the remarks of John Beale, the country’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American States, who said last month that it was wrong for banks to discriminate against seniors because of their age.