PR – Fellow Co-operators in the Credit Union Movement, citizens of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique, it is indeed a pleasure, and I am honored as the Minister with responsibility for Co-operatives to extend heartfelt congratulations to you as you continue your month-long activities in celebration of International Credit Union Month.
The movement collectively is marching on to the observance of International Credit Union Day on Thursday 20th October 2022.
International Credit Union Day is of great significance in the annual calendar of events for people who are members or who follow the movement – as this day celebrates the spirit of the global Credit Union Movement.
It is a day on which Members worldwide pause and reflect upon the credit union movement’s history, promote its achievements, recognize hard work and share members’ experiences.
In this the 74th year of the celebration of International Credit Union Day globally, and in Grenada, it is noteworthy that Credit Union Members are again able to assemble for an in-person celebration of this much anticipated event after a two-year interruption because of the Covid -19 pandemic.
Since 1948, International Credit Union Day has been celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October and this year is no different.
The event affords the Movement the opportunity to promote awareness of, and support for the Credit Union and financial cooperative.
Credit Unions have members and not shareholders whilst Banks and other financial institutions have customers and shareholders. These institutions must make money from their customers to please shareholders whilst the Credit Union is a not-for profit institution.
I am pleased to note that the Credit Unions celebrating today are doing so under the Grenada Credit Unions brand and have much to be proud about. The Movement has over the years’ experienced tremendous growth and has been instrumental in transforming and uplifting the lives of many of our citizens.
The records indicate that as of June 30, 2022, the ten registered Credit Unions have combined assets of 1.2 billion dollars, total loans of 878 million dollars, total deposits of one billion dollars and 82,000 member accounts. This is indeed a commendable feat. Growing from small beginnings to a strong, and formidable sector contributing to national development.
As you continue the celebrations of International Credit Union Month, I wish to, on my own behalf and that of Prime Minister Hon. Dickon Mitchell and all members of the Cabinet congratulate you on your accomplishments. We wish you continued success as you approach a milestone that is the 75th celebration and as you continue to meet your corporate social responsibilities by contributing and giving back to society.
In this context, the theme under which you celebrate this year is quite relevant and appealing “Empower Your Financial Future with a Credit Union”. This theme encourages those who are already members of a Credit Union to remain grounded there, and those who are not yet members to come on board so that both groups can reap the benefits of a better and secure financial future.
Today is an opportunity to reflect on the tremendous amount of work that credit unions and other financial cooperatives are doing within the communities here in Grenada and to encourage members to get more engaged.
The Credit Union Movement can pride itself in its investments in all aspects of the country and national development. However, for a moment, I wish to highlight the investments in our youths through the provision of education grants and scholarships, donations to organizations that support youth development, the sponsorship of sporting and cultural activities, community projects, clubs, and events. All of these have contributed to the empowerment of not only your members but the youths and aspiring leaders of this nation.
Government looks forward to the forging of a strategic partnership to better the lives of all our citizens but particularly our young people – through investments in the digital and creative economies, ICT, agriculture, and agri-business.
As minister with responsibility for Co-operatives I wish to remind us all, that the Credit Union sector is an important pillar in the attainment of Government’s transformational agenda. Our policy is to work with and build strategic alliances with the Credit Union sector, to strengthen existing co-operatives, to encourage the formation of new co-operatives and to work towards fulfilling our vision of “A Sustainable, Equitable and Prosperous Grenada for All”.
I wish everyone an enjoyable day on Thursday 20th October and look forward to joining you as you celebrate your achievement on International Credit Union Day.
I thank you.