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Billion-dollar credit union


Shawn Cumberbatch

Billion-dollar credit union

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Barbados’ largest credit union has climbed into $1 billion territory.
That’s the amount of “total assets” Barbados Public Workers Co-operative Credit Union Limited (BPWCCUL) now has – the bulk of it an $825 million portfolio of loans and advances, and $122.6 million in cash resources.
And while the credit union’s management reported a $1.7 million drop in profits to end with $11.1 million up to the end of March, they were upbeat about the overall outcome including “the major milestone achievement” of asset growth and a reduction non-performing and impaired loans.
According to the organisation’s 2014 annual report, specifically the management discussion and analysis, this time last year BPWCCUL had total assets of $951.2 million, including $774.6 million in loans and advances and $117.4 million in cash.
“At March 31, 2014, the total consolidated assets of the Group reached $1 billion reflecting a steady growth in operations since the acquisition of Capita Financial Services Inc. (formerly CLICO Mortgage and Finance Corporation) in August 2010,” the organisation’s management said.
“This major milestone achievement, particularly during a prolonged period of economic downturn, is testimony to the loyalty and support of the credit union’s members, as well as the customers and staff of the other financial institutions in the group.
“Moreover, this achievement is a reflection of a process of continuous improvement, a shared strategic vision of key objectives, diligent risk management and a proactive approach to the needs of its key stakeholders,” it added.
Credit union representatives also said its “strong performance” was also “reflected in the consistent growth of net earnings, albeit at a reduced rate when compared with the last year”.
“Group consolidated net income for the year under review was $11.1 million compared with $12.8 million for the previous year. Increased operating costs driven principally by increased staff costs, new office facilities and product promotions and member incentive packages have contributed to this shortfall in net earnings. The earnings momentum generated by these cost initiatives is however, expected to drive positive results to the bottom line well beyond 2014,” they explained.
At a time when a number of its members have lost their jobs, the credit union also reported that it “continued to maintain tight control over the rate of loan delinquencies, resulting in a decline in the non-performing or impaired loan ratio from 7.5 per cent in 2013 to 6.7 per cent in 2014”.

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