Monday, April 15, 2024

We’ve got your back, says Co-op

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Outgoing president of the Barbados Workers’ Union Co-operative Credit Union, Dalton Medford, is charging that “what commercial banks are doing to poor people is almost criminal”.

He was speaking to the media yesterday after the Co-op’s annual general meeting at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St Michael.

“When you look around Barbados, and see what is happening with the commercial banks in terms of how they treat with poor people – paying almost next to nothing on deposits, while at the same time charging them fees for almost everything, I think it is almost – to use what the present Prime Minister has said about another thing – criminal for them to be doing that to us,” he charged.

Medford, president for the last five years, said the 23 000-strong Co-op’s asset base currently stood at $138 million, a “great improvement”, and deposits were doing well. He described the rates as attractive and encouraged people to bring their loan business to the credit union.

“Our average savings rate is 2.20 per cent, and we have term deposits as high as 4.5 per cent, which is about the best in the market. When you look around Barbados and see the amount of profits that commercial banks register, somebody has to tell them what they are doing to poor people is not good enough. So, at this stage, I want Barbadians to understand that the credit union movement is where they belong,” he said.

Commercial bank rates on savings are as low as 0.01 per cent.

The president also said it would cost just over $6 million to refurbish the headquarters on Fairchild Street, The City, a measure that could see the wealth of the members increased.

“We hope the headquarters would represent to our members what working-class people can achieve once they work together,” he said.

“The other big dream we have is to ensure that the headquarters is members-owned. We want to be able to do a perspective on it where . . . . we will set up a management company, which would be the credit union, and own 40 per cent, while the other 60 per cent would be sold to the members,” he said. (RA) 

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