NCCU reports growth in 2020: President Dublin
NCCU reports growth in 2020: President Dublin

How credit unions in Dominica have grown!

If Sister Alicia De Tremmerie, a Belgian nun, the mother of credit unions here, could see her daughter now!

How she has grown so big, so wide, so influential, and so important to everyday life of Dominicans; how she has become one of the foremost financial institutions in the country. Undoubtedly, Sister Alicia would blush with joy!

When Sister Alicia founded the credit union movement in Roseau in 1952, she started with just 133 members and a share capital of EC$1,891.

Now the National Cooperative Credit Union (NCCU), the island's largest credit union entity, has an asset base of EC $640.9 million and a membership of 48,958.

On Sunday 11 November, amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic, the NCCU held its annual general meeting to report the good news to its members.

"The financial year 2019 was both a challenging and exciting year for the NCCU Ltd.," president Josephine Dublin wrote in the 2019 annual report. "It was a year marked by impressive financial results, increased competition in the market for loans and volatility in the rates of interest on investment instruments".

"The Society remains resolute, with unrelenting performances amidst a challenging economic environment. Irrespective of the existing economic environment, management utilized prudent management techniques to achieve growth in the Society as recorded in your Society's operation," Dexter Ducreay, the Treasurer agreed.

Dublin reports that "membership grew during the year in review to 48,958 from 47,689 in the previous year of 2018, an increase of 1,269 or 2.66%".

She also seems pleased with NCCU's financial performance.

"The overall financial performance of the Credit Union remained strong during the year in review. Total Assets grew by $15,161,246 or 2.42%. Growth in originated loans (gross) was $19,427,147 or 4.91% of members' savings and ordinary deposits which grew by $12,001,138 or 3.22% over the previous year," she said. "Interest Income increased by $4,330,215 or 14.53% and Operating Income increased by $4,570,393 or 24.03% compared to the previous year".

In addition, the Society continued its growing trends in gross revenue over the period 2011 to 2019, with 2019 recording the highest amount generated since amalgamation, said Ducreay.

"Gross Income was recorded at $35.5 million for the year 2019, moving from $30.8 million in 2018. This constituted a net value increase of $4.7 million (15.3%)as compared to the previous year'" he said. "The increase in gross income, as compared to the previous year was mainly a result of members recovering from the negative effects of Hurricane Maria, meeting their monthly instalments and their increasing demand for loan products."

But Ducreay said the NCCU's level of delinquency "continues to be challenge".

"I am pleading with members to service their loans as per the contract. In the event that you experience a change in your situation, please contact the Society at the earliest opportunity," he said.