The National Cooperative Credit Union (NCCU) will make available one million EC dollars to members who have paid interest on loans in 2015.
This announcement was made during a press conference on Tuesday June 14, 2016 by the institution’s board of directors President Dexter Ducreay.
Mr. Ducreay stated that the NCCU is the “biggest, the brightest and the best credit union in the OECS”, with a surplus of over six million dollars for the 2015 financial year topping it all off.
This surplus is a “major milestone for any indigenous institution”, he said adding that “our critics might accuse us of blowing our own trumpet on what I am about to say to you; but who cares”.
“We strongly believe as a cooperative, we should share with our family; therefore NCCU has decided to give back one million dollars as interest rebate in cash to its members. This one million dollars will be shared among all members who have paid interest on their loans in 2015 based on interest paid for that period,” Ducreay said.
Members will be free to spend the money as they wish he added calling it a “historic event”. According to Ducreay, the processing should be done tonight and the money should be available to eligible members tomorrow Wednesday June 15, 2016.
“It will be put into a deposit account that people have access to, to do whatever they want to… We think, bearing in mind the economy, it is very timely so its money in your pockets,” Ducreay added.
In explaining the logic behind NCCU’s decision to offer this million dollars rebate, Ducreay said within the OECS banking sector, “financial institutions are carrying a massive amount of cash on their balance sheet; as a result the interest rates on deposit are extremely low, as much as one percent, but we have not seen a corresponding decrease of interest rates on their loans”.
These rates, he continued, are creating a very difficult situation for consumers who have to pay extremely high interest rates on their loans and see low returns on their deposits.
“To compound financial crisis further, we see the advent of negative interest rates. Negative interest rates were first introduced in Europe in 2009 and were later introduced in Japan in the early months of this year.”
These rates are generally used by governments to avoid a deflationary effect on the economies, Ducreay explained continuing, “but for the ordinary man in the streets, the negative interest rates means that instead of depositors receiving the interest on their deposits, they now have to pay the bank to hold their funds.”
A version of this policy, he claimed, is being implemented right here in Dominica; “the banks are now charging their customers fees to hold their life savings. Such policy is repressive, poverty driven and anti the philosophy of banking as we know it today”.
Mr. Ducreay has assured members of the NCCU that as long as he is a member of the board “this policy will never be implemented onto the membership”.
The NCCU has been in existence since 2010 and its accomplishments are as a result of the strong and dedicated service from the volunteers Ducreay said.
“The credit union volunteers of St. David, La Salette, Vieille Case, St. Paul and Roseau worked tirelessly to create what we have here today.”
This year the Castle Bruce Credit Union has joined the NCCU. “We can now refer to ourselves as the big six,” Ducreay said. Another credit union, which he did not name, will also join the NCCU later this year.
He appealed to both current and prospective members to continue making NCCU their financial institution of choice in order for money to be returned to them.
“I want to thank all my fellow directors who had the courage to endorse this, such a bold initiative. I also want to thank all the committees for their supportiveness of the policies that make this institution great,” Ducreay stated.