Categorized | National News

Central Bank Now the Official Regulator of Credit Unions

The Central Bank of the Bahamas on Tuesday announced the official transition of credit unions to the Central Bank’s Supervisory Unit from the Department of Cooperatives, making banking for union members safer, more comfortable and more confident.

Governor of the Central Bank Wendy Craig said since June 1, 2015 the Central Bank of the Bahamas has assumed regulatory and supervisory responsibility for the credit unions under the recently enacted Bahamas Cooperative Credit Unions Act 2014.
According to Ms. Craig, the transition is significant in the history of the financial sector in The Bahamas and marks the transition of responsibility for the supervision and regulation of credit unions from the Department of Cooperatives to the Central Bank.

Ms. Craig said the move to migrate credit unions to the bank was influenced by important key elements.

“First, it recognizes the growing size of complexity of the sector and the need to ensure that it had an oversight machine that was in accordance to this profile,” she said.

“Secondly, the transition aligns with the broadly held view by various international agencies including the governing body for credit unions, that the sector should be regulated and supervised by the entity that is responsible for financial stability and for us that is The Central Bank.”

President of the Bahamas Co-operative League Sonia Cox said the transition represents the official new beginning of a bond that will be beneficial to the union and its 40,000 members significantly.

“It is indeed a pleasure to be here to celebrate this great transition,” she said.

“The credit unions of The Bahamas along with Central Bank have celebrated 40 years of being viable in The Bahamas and so this transition has come at a time that is really fabulous for all of us including Central Bank and Credit Unions. We hasten to say that the Department of Cooperative has done a fantastic job in having the credit unions regulated with a very strong arm.”

Ms. Cox said over the last year, $350 million was accumulated through the bank from the credit unions. According to Ms. Cox and Governor Craig, this initiative will also help to keep Bahamian money circulating throughout Bahamian banks.

Ms. Craig also said she and her team will use this opportunity to promote sound principles of regulation and supervision that would position the credit union sector for sustained growth and foster public confidence.

“We are pleased to have achieved this milestone,” said Ms. Cox.

“We believe that it will benefit the credit union and we look forward to looking to all parties in a matter that will promote the sector’s future growth.”

The nine credit unions have proven themselves to be very important providers of the financial services in The Bahamas.

In December 2014, their assets aggregated $349.1 million, representing an average annual growth of 6.7 per cent over the past five years.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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