World Council of Credit Unions in Trinidad & Tobago urging reforms to support credit unions
Independent cooperative authority, deposit guarantees are top priorities
MADISON, WI (January 19, 2024) — World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) Senior Vice President of International Advocacy and General Counsel Andrew Price arrived in Trinidad and Tobago Friday at the request of the Co-operative Credit Union League of Trinidad & Tobago (CCULTT) to meet with numerous stakeholders and assist in crafting reforms that will improve and strengthen the Caribbean nation’s vibrant credit union system.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Trinidad & Tobago in January 2019 appointed a Ministerial Sub-Committee to examine the credit union sector and make recommendations to strengthen it. Their recommendations have resulted in a Draft Policy Proposal Document (PPD) to form an Independent Co-operative Authority to regulate the country’s cooperative sector.
The Sub-Committee also received input from the World Bank as part of the process. Input from WOCCU, as the international body representing credit unions, is critical at this juncture to ensure the legislative decision-making process considers the appropriate approach for credit unions and their members.
WOCCU and the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU), our direct member in the region, have been working jointly with CCULTT to bring international experience and global best practices to the policymaking process.
“We applaud the efforts of Trinidad and Tobago to evolve and strengthen the regulatory framework for credit unions. If done correctly, this is a real opportunity to maximize the ability of community-based financial institutions to improve financial inclusion, which is key to enhancing the welfare and local economic growth for the citizens of Trinidad & Tobago,” said Andrew Price, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and General Counsel, World Council of Credit Unions.
“It is important that policymakers understand the unique nature of credit unions as member-owned financial cooperatives and how that model can enhance services to underserved and marginalized communities. We know from our international networks and experience that properly tailored regulations that enhance safety and soundness are the best way to achieve these results,” said Joseph Remy, President of CCULTT and a Board Director for both CCCU and WOCCU.
Other reforms under consideration, such as the adoption of deposit insurance, will help advance and modernize regulations for credit unions. There are 129 credit unions, serving approximately 753,000 members and representing approximately US $3 million in assets in Trinidad & Tobago. It is one of the most vibrant systems in the Caribbean. All three organizations, WOCCU, CCULTT and CCCU, will continue to work with policymakers on the reforms moving forward.
About World Council of Credit Unions
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 82,758 credit unions in 97 countries serve 404 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.