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COB wants to take next step

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

COB wants to take next step

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At least one credit union in Barbados is still seeking to offer services that are currently offered only by commercial banks.
City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union (COB) chief executive officer Steve Belle said that institution was actively pursuing the concept of having the credit union becoming a part of the Automated Clearing House network (ACH), offering foreign exchange services, as well as offering deposit insurance.
Belle said he believed credit unions were more competitive than commercial banks but offering those services would make the movement even stronger.
ACH is an electronic network for financial transactions in the United States. This processes large volumes of credit and debit transactions in batches.
Belle told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY the credit union had “engaged” the Central Bank of Barbados on the matter and it was something they were examining.
Belle said the Central Bank was actively examining the possibility “to see how practical it is, if there will be need for a change in legislation and whatever else is required. But they are working with us”.
Not going into details, Belle said: “We have gotten back communication from the Central Bank. Up to [last Thursday] a representative called me on the matter.”
Belle said he believed once other credit unions “have the infrastructure in place, both the technology and human resources infrastructural management services I would assume it would apply to all of those credit unions as well”.
Concerning loans, Belle said given the current economic climate, the financial institution had seen an increase in delinquency. He said when compared with the commercial banking sector “we find that we are performing a little bit better”.
“Notwithstanding that, it doesn’t mean that we are happy with where we are at, but we pride ourselves on building prosperity one member at a time. And the only way we can do so in these trying times is to continue working with our members and bring solutions that would assist them during these trying and very difficult times,” said Belle. (MM)