CCCU Convention opens, Credit Union Umbrella Body’s 1st Female Leader addresses participants – Call made for continued promotion of organization: By Rawle Nelson

Eighteen countries representing some seventeen affiliates area attending the 53rd Annual International Convention and 39th Annual General Meeting of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions.

A stout marches with one of the affiliate country flag during the opening ceremony of the CCCU Convention

A scout marches with one of the affiliate country flag during the opening ceremony of the CCCU Convention

Delegates from affiliates, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherland Antilles, St Kitts and Nevis, , St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago while St Maarten who is not an affiliate also attending as they are the host country.

The four day convention which is being held at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and casino is being attended by some 400 odd delegates who are meeting from June 26-30. In her welcoming remarks, President of CCCU, Ms Yvonne Ridguard thanked delegates for once again showing up in their numbers to the annual event. She expressed appreciation for what she dubbed as ‘really great hospitality that has been demonstrated by the Government and people of St Maarten.

President of the CCCU, Ms Yvonne Ridguard

President of the CCCU, Ms Yvonne Ridguard

President Ridguard appealed to members to have a renewed passion for the continued growth and development of the organization stressing that despite the challenging times being faced the Credit Union will and can continue to grow. Highlighting some of the key critical issues that will be addressed at the meeting the CCCU president said that they will be looking at the regulations which have become topical since the current economic meltdown. “We need to understand that Credit Unions have always had internal regulations and operate by the prudential international standards that were set up by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) which is across the board for all credit unions,” the President said.

She pointed out that her organization is cognizant of the fact that Governments have begun ‘turning their eyes’ to see what is happening within the credit unions in an effort to see if sufficient regulations are in place. She declared that because credit unions are used to strict regulations they do not wish to be regulated in the same way that banks are regulated.

It must be noted by all that Credit Unions are different financial institutions and therefore we would want governments to u8ndersatnad that as we are a unique organization. They do not want governments to give us regulation that will affect the growth and development but to look at empowering them so as to ensure that they do what they do best,” she declared.

She noted further that the various credit unions need to promote the credit union as the financial institution of choice adding that it should also be the credible alternative. “We have a responsibility in our respective credit union to promote the organization as the financial institution of choice and let me stress that the credible union should also be seen as a credible alternative,” she said.

Ridguard who is the first woman President in the CCCU history noted that the Credit Union is a noble Caribbean movement

She also noted that the financial crisis that was experienced by countries throughout the world the Credit Union is the only financial institution that had not reduce or stop lending. This, she said demonstrates that the credit union is strong, solid, financially strong and effective in its operations.

Some of the Directors of the CCCU paying rapt attention

Some of the Directors of the CCCU paying rapt attention

Meanwhile, the feature address which was slated to be delivered by Commissioner William Marlin, Leader of Government, Island Territory of St Maarten was unable to do so as he had to attend an urgent meeting overseas and as such the address was delivered by Acting Lieutenant Governor, Reynold Groenveldt.

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