Press Release – International Credit Union Day – 2020
Message by Honourable Joseph Hamilton, Minister of Labour
Theme: “Inspiring Hope for a Global Community”
Today Guyana joins with the world to extend warmest and heartfelt wishes on this International Credit Union Day 2020; as we reflect on the work and positive contribution of Credit Unions throughout the world, in the Caribbean and here in Guyana.
Credit Unions were established in the 1860s, as financial co-operatives and operated on the principle of people helping people in a way of encouraging members to save and ultimately to be able to save and to qualify for attractive loan offers.
To date, the trend continues where Credit Unions proudly stand as solid global financial institutions aimed at improving the lives of its members by providing prudent savings and loans facilities, awards to members’ children and donations to the vulnerable.
This year members solemnly celebrate International Credit Union Day amidst the current global Covid-19 Pandemic. Though the pandemic has caused economic decline worldwide, our Credit Unions have remained resilient against the Commercial Banks. When commercial banks and other lending institutions made it hard for persons to access loans at reasonable interest rates, Credit Union members have been steadily able to benefit from the products and services offered by their Credit Unions.
By generously providing a high level of service to their members and demonstrated generosity to their local communities throughout this year’s COVID-19 crisis, it has set them apart from other financial institutions. Hence, Credit Unions are truly inspiring hope for a global credit union community.
Today is a celebration of the impact credit unions have made and continue to make for their members. It is also a chance to be thankful for the lives and communities that have been improved by the movement.
Worldwide, Credit Unions numbered over 85,000 serving 274 million members in 118 countries including Guyana. As Guyanese, we are happy to be a part of the celebration for the contribution made by the movement. Added, Guyana has always been participating at the Caribbean and International level of Credit Unions Assembly.
Guyana credit union membership is drawn from organisations and communities with the largest being the workers’ credit union.
The cumulative statistics of the local credit unions showed a membership of over 33,000; Assets – G$8.4B; Shares – G$5.5B; Loans – G$4.8B and Reserves G$1.4M.
Credit unions are a part of the economic sector of Guyana, where members are owners, constant exposure to training for their Committees for the management of the organisation with the responsibility of being resilient in mind.
In the spirit of this Day, looking beyond our local community helps us to recognise credit unions for the important role they play in many distressed urban and rural areas worldwide. Many people would not have been able to afford their own homes, vehicles, start new businesses or attend school without the help of their credit unions. In some areas of the world, people would have no access to financial services without being a member of a credit union.
Credit Unions have consistently carried on the traditions set forth by their founders and exemplified the values of thrift, self-sufficiency, volunteer leadership, democratically elected from among the membership and hope to their members.
These qualities help credit unions create a special place for themselves among the world’s financial institutions.
My Ministry’s goal for Credit Unions is to encourage savings and to empower members through owning their own homes, noting when workers needs are met, the output is greater.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CREDIT UNION DAY
TO ALL MEMBERS!