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Jasmine Huggins-Daly, manager of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Co-operative Credit Union Ltd., speaking to the media in Kingstown on Monday, April 24, 2023.
Jasmine Huggins-Daly, manager of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Co-operative Credit Union Ltd., speaking to the media in Kingstown on Monday, April 24, 2023.
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The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Co-operative Credit Union Ltd. is celebrating its 45th anniversary, with its manager, Jasmine Huggins-Daly, saying the financial institution has proven to be a safe place to save and an affordable place to borrow.

The credit union was originally conceptualised out of a need to provide a solution for teachers who suffered displacement, loss of salary and varying forms of discrimination for standing up for their rights in the 1975 strike. 

Eleven persons signed the original registration form for the establishment of the credit union, whose membership has moved from 88 to 13,302, the credit union having offered membership to all Vincentians in 2004.

Huggins-Daly told a press conference in Kingstown on Tuesday that after the first three months, the credit union’s asset base stood at EC$3,565 and has since grown to EC$171 million.  Loans to members stand at EC$102 million dollars.    

“The growth in assets is an indication of the strides the Teachers Credit Union has made over the years and demonstrates its continuity, stability and sustainability, she said, echoing the theme of the anniversary celebrations, “45 years: Continuity, Stability and Sustainability for all Vincentians”.

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“Our products and services have evolved over the years; the range of loans and saving products have expanded and were specifically tailored to enhance the member’s experience.”

She mentioned the credit union’s revolving credit loan, bundled loan product and a suite of saving products, which include retirement saving plan and the adolescent saving plan.

Other products and services include the supplies outlet and the scholarship and bursary programme, she said, adding that the bookshop/supplies outlet, which commenced operations in 1993 in a back room of the former headquarters has grown into a full-fledged supplies outlet, offering both school and office supplies.  

The supplies outlet is available at each branch of the credit union — Bequia, Union Island, Canouan and Barrouallie, with satellite services in Chateaubelair, Sandy Bay, Georgetown, and Mesopotamia. 

“Very soon, the supplies outlet will roll out its online service where persons can purchase their schoolbooks and other supplies online from the comfort of their homes,” Huggins-Daly said. 

She also spoke of the credit union’s scholarships and bursaries to members and their families, which started in 1994 and has expanded to five seven-year students annually, including to a child of a staff member. 

“In the academic year 1999/2000, the first university bursaries were awarded to two members; today we award an average of 10 bursaries yearly,” Huggins-Daly said.

The staff of the credit union has grown from a single member, Julian Jack, at its founding to 53 members in five departments with four branches across the country.   

The credit union also offers online banking, ATM services, and a mobile application.

The credit union will host a number of activities to celebrate its anniversary and is offering loan specials for the purchase of land, vehicles, agricultural loans and special offers on residential mortgage loans.

Journalists Desmarie Greenaway-Thomas and William “Kojah” Anthony were presented with special awards for promoting the activities of the credit union over the years.

Other media outlets were also presented with certificates of appreciation in this regard.