NCCU a beacon for Nevisians

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Project Officer with the St. Kitts-based Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU) Peter Etienne has described the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited as the beacon of light for the people of Nevis.

Speaking on Monday night at the 34th Annual General Meeting of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union, held the Methodist Church Conference Centre in Charlestown, Mr Etienne expressed CCCU’s “heartiest congratulations to the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union, management, staff and by extension the general membership on yet another successful year of operations.”

He said that growth chalked up by the credit union reflected an increase of about 51% in its net income, forcing him to tell the large membership that had turned out for the AGM that “the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union has been the beacon of light for the people of Nevis.”

“A popular motto used by credit unions is We strive to be our brother’s keeper,” observed Mr Etienne. “A striking feature of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union is that in spite of the challenges and competition in the financial market place, the NCCU has been able to maintain its civic responsibilities and this is reflected in your annual report.”

He pointed out to donations and contributions made by the credit union to the social development of the Nevisian public in the areas of education, sports and disaster relief among others, which he pointed out was in keeping with their theme issue, ‘Credit Unions: Keeping People First’.

Earlier, President of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union, Mr Dwight Morton had told the AGM that “We have known for a long time what others are just beginning to realise, that people (inclusive of members, staff, etc) are indeed the most important resource of any institution, particularly that of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union.”

He said that the Credit Union had continued on its relentless push, bettering performance year after year, this year being no exception in spite of numerous challenges in the areas of regulation, governance and competition, with significant growth being recorded in every area of the operations.

“Gross income increased by $616,386 or 18% to reach $4.1million while net income increased by $220,373 or 51% to a total of $655,388” said Mr Morton. “This is notwithstanding the fact that during the course of the year we were experiencing liquidity problems, but we were still able to have the best two (the last two) years in the history of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union.”

He reminded the AGM that the credit union did not perform at this level in automatic mode, saying that there are many persons who have continued and contributed to ensuring that this has happened. He singled out the members whom he commended for “ensuring your commitment and loyalty to your union in spite of the many attempts to woo you away from your home – the many offers, the many packages etc. there have been many but you have stuck with your home base.”

Dividend was declared at 5%, the maximum the credit union could offer. However a few members said that since the credit union had a very successful performance in 2006, that bonuses should be paid out on shares.

General Manager Mr Sydney Newton explained that for that to happen, “the minimum institutional capital should be 10% of total asset, right now that is 8% and the net institutional capital should have a minimum of 10%, presently it is at 7%. The requirement really is that we have to build up our institutional capital before we give bonuses. I think that in the next few financial years we will be able to give not only bonus but a higher dividend rate.”

Also attending the AGM was Mr Samuel Powell, Director of Co-operatives in the Nevis Island Administration, who congratulated the union for holding the AGM in the first quarter of 2007, and assured them of continued support from his Department.

Supervisor of Co-operatives in the Nevis Island Administration, Mr Edred Ward, who conducted elections for new board and committee members which saw Mrs Tressetta Prentice elected as a new Board members and Mr Lester Liburd as a new Credit Committee member, said that with 181 members in attendance at the start of the AGM, “it was the best attendance ever.”

For the first time in the history of NCCU, three special presentations were made by members of staff in relation to the social programmes which the credit union offers on Loan Protection Insurance, Life Savings Insurance (by Earther Scarborough, Senior Loans Officer) Funeral Indemnity Plan (by Julet Chiverton, Administrative Officer) and Disaster Relief Assistance Programme (by Trudy Prentice, Accounts Officer).

The presentation made a great impact as the memberships unanimously voted to join the Disaster Relief Assistance Programme by having twelve  dollars (one dollar per month) deducted from their savings each year for all members of the credit union to be full contributors to the Programme.

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