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BET co-op considering mergers

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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The leadership of one of Barbados’ oldest credit unions says it might have to consider “mergers and strategic alliances” as part of efforts to enhance membership services.
Fresh from earning a $157 712 profit, an increase over 2013’s $132 875, BET Cooperative Credit Union Limited said such partnerships might be necessary given the “considerable investment” required for some improvements.
In his report released in the credit union’s recent 2013-2014 annual report, president Vere Wacott told the organisation’s more than 600 members of these developments.
“In this fast-paced technologically advanced world, where instant gratification is the order of the day, it is no longer acceptable to tell members that for simple transactions they must give early notice to allow manual processing of their requests,” he said.
“Members want to have ready access to their available funds. Services such as ATM, mobile and Internet banking have to be considered. These services require considerable investment and it is unlikely that a credit union with as small a membership as ours can achieve the required throughput on our own for some of these services.
“We again have to think about the inevitable use of mergers and strategic alliances, unpalatable though it may be for some members,” he added.
The official reported that “despite job losses among the membership and against the uncertainty in the Barbadian economy, the financial performance of credit union remained steady”.
“Total assets moved from $29 million in 2013 to $33 million at the end of the financial year, a 13.5 per cent increase. Loans to members also showed a modest increase moving from $12.2 million in 2013 to $12.8 mllion  in the current year or a five per cent  increase.
“Outside of the normal loan categories, the use of the line of credit facility by members would have contributed to the continuing use of the credit union for the financial requirements of members,” he said.
Walcott added that “further encouragement and emphasis will have to be placed on those financial products that will sustain and improve the finances while satisfying membership needs”. (SC)