Credit Unions of Barbados Agree to Move forward on Deposit Insurance – Policymakers say they’re in support
Barbados’ Credit Unions recently met to accept the World Council of Credit Union’s (WOCCU‘s) design for how to bring deposit insurance to the credit union sector. In a series of meetings with the credit unions, the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. DeLisle Worrell, Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, the CEO of the Barbados Deposit Insurance Corporation, Warrick Ward and the Permanent Secretary of Special Projects, Ministry of Finance, Ronald Bascombe, WOCCU found unanimous support for how to bring deposit insurance to credit unions.
In late February a delegation of credit union officials from the Barbados Co-operative Credit Union League (BCCUL) attended the Government Affairs Conference of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in Washington, D.C. In addition to participating in the conference and Capitol Hill visits with the Iowa Credit Union League, WOCCU met with the representatives to discuss its draft design for deposit insurance and visited with officials at the National Credit Union Administration to better understand the workings of the Share Insurance Fund.
“Credit unions are the only domestically-owned financial institutions in Barbados and serve over two-thirds of the population,” indicated Dave Grace, WOCCU’s Vice President, Association Services and lead on designing this deposit insurance system. Grace continued, “It high time that their members deposits are afforded the same level of government guarantee with deposit insurance as the foreign-owned banks.”
In July 2009, BCCUL signed an agreement with WOCCU to provide consulting services to design and help advocate for the implementation of deposit insurance. The deposit insurance design delivered last week calls for credit union members to have B$25,000 (US$12,500) in deposit insurance, utilize the structure of the Barbados Deposit Insurance Fund (BDIC), but to establish a credit union fund, separate from commercial banks, within the agency and for there to be financial standards for credit unions to enter into the deposit insurance system. WOCCU and BCCUL hope to have the needed legislative changes enacted later this year.
“The BCCUL Board has accepted the findings of WOCCU’s consultant and VP of Association Services, Dave Grace” said Dean St. Hill, President of the Board of Directors, BCCUL. “This is an important initiative in this era of global financial instability, to further strengthen the safety and soundness of the local credit union sector. We’re happy with the overall response of key stakeholders. All of us are working together to ensure that members’ money is safer than ever.”