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Big credit union bucks

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Big credit union bucks

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THE BIG TWO credit unions are now controlling more than $1.4 billion in assets.

As tough economic times linger, Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Limited (78 440 members) and City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union Limited (57 494 members) are also both reporting improved financial performances.

Based on their reports for the financial year ended March 31, both had a rewarding 2015/2016. Their combined net profit was about $16.6 million and other fundamentals were strong.

In its management discussion and analysis, Public Workers’, the number one credit union by size, stated: “At the end of the financial year, the credit union’s total assets amounted to just over $1 billion, an increase of $90 million or 9.7 per cent. Cash resources increased by $8.4 million or 8.9 per cent.

“Deposits totalled $862.9 million and were $87.8 million or 11.3 per cent higher than the previous year-end. Loans payable were reduced during the year to $22.3 million from $33.4 million as a result of an $8.4 million or six per cent rate bearing loan being repaid within the financial year.”

It added: “With asset taxes of $1.9 million incurred during the year, net income was reported at $13.5 million compared to $9.6 million in the prior year, an increase of $3.9 million or 41 per cent. Total revenue grew by $8.2 million or 11.4 per cent, moving from $71.7 million in 2015 to $79.9 million during the 2016 financial year.”

Public Workers’ also “achieved significant net loan growth when compared to prior years, as net loans grew by $71.3 million or 9.6 per cent when compared to $62.2 million for the year ended March 31, 2015”.

Looking to 2016-2017, the credit union said the anticipated improvement in the economy “will result in reduced unemployment levels among our membership”.

COB, which now controls $410.2 million in assets, said its main highlight for the last financial year was the bottom line, which showed a $3.1 million net surplus.

The board of directors called the latest financial performance “outstanding”. They reported: “Improvements were recorded in every key area of business activity. These results, which were achieved within our risk appetite, saw net surplus before distributions increasing by 19.2 per cent to reach $3.1 million; deposits and regulatory capital growing by 7.5 per cent to reach $358.2 million; loans to members were up by 4.7 per cent to reach $309.9 million; total assets expanded by 5.6 per cent to reach $410.2 million.

“Non-performing loans decreased by 3.9 percentage points to reach 11.3 per cent while membership increased by 1 852 to reach 57 494.”

While anticipating the next year to have “shifting competitive dynamics” and “weak economic conditions”, COB expected it to be “filled with opportunities”.

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