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Co-operative Credit Union League president Brian Moore says: Bill can stunt credit union growth
Brian Moore, president of the Co-operative Credit Union League of T&T, said discussions with regulators over what the final credit union bill will look like will continue until they are satisfied their concerns have been properly addressed. “We intend to continue our talks until we get a bill that we are comfortable with. I know last year, the Minister of Finance said he wanted to take something to Parliament, sometime later this year, but we will see,” he told the T&T Guardian Friday.
Meetings have already begun for the new year, he said. “The Credit Union League has resumed discussions and negotiations with the Central Bank on the draft bill. We have had three or four meetings with the Central Bank. We are going to have included in those meetings, representatives of the Ministry of Finance and representatives from the Co-operative department of the Ministry of Labour and Micro Enterprise Development. So that is where we are now,” he said.
Last week, at the launch of the Co-operative Credit Union League’s calendar of events for 2013, Moore called on the credit union movement to defend itself against legalisation that could possibly stunt its growth. He later said there are “serious deficiencies” in the proposed legislation.
“We have concerns about the potential conflict between the two regulators because now the credit union sector will be regulated by two pieces of legislation—the Co-operative Societies Act and this new Credit Union Act. So the Central Bank will be regulating some things of the financial operations and the Office of the Commissioner for Co-operatives Development is supposed to supervise and regulate developmental matters,” he said.
Moore claimed the bill will have the effect of “criminalising” activities of the movement. “The movement operates on volunteers. They already have a difficult time getting people to volunteer and to serve on boards and committees, and now if there is a regime that criminalises everything then we will have problems,” he said.
Moore also warned that the bill could severly limit how credit unions operate: “The bill limits credit unions to only operate in a very narrow way, like collecting people’s money and loans. However, credit unions have evolved beyond that, so we have not agreed on that as yet. “We also have concerns with term limits with regard to boards and those things,” he said.
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