Credit Union holds AGM in San Ignacio Town Print E-mail
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Thursday, 29 May 2014 00:00

The Saint Martin’s Credit Union SMCU held its 65th Annual General Meeting on Friday of this past week in San Ignacio Town. Hundreds of residents turned out to attend the meeting at the Octavia Waight Center Convention Hall; where financial prudence in the credit union movement was a mainstay. Present at the AGM were representatives from the La Immaculada Credit Union of Orange Walk, the St. Francis Xavier Credit Union of Corozal and the Belize Credit Union League.

Today the SMCU is a strong financial institution, which was incorporated in 1949 to improve the economic standing of its members. As of March 31, 2014 the SMCU had 7,441 members.

In a report to the gathering, President Dr. John Morris reported that SMCU’s assets stood at $17,985,534.00 and had an increase of over a million dollars from last year. According to Dr. John Morris, studies are now showing that there were at least 1000 untapped members for the credit union movement in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Succotz, Arenal and Calla Creek in Western Belize and that the SMCU needed to expand in those areas.

In the Treasurer’s report, Debbie Martinez reported that investment in term deposit as of 31 March 2014 stood at $2,412,311. This shows an increase of 33.5% in comparison with last year’s figures. But the rate of interest on term deposits paid by commercial banks is between 2.5 to 3% and this has affected the net income registered by the SMCU.

Andy Bahadur from the Credit Committee informed that during the 12 month period ending March 31, 2014 some 4017 loans were approved; totaling $8,154,035.00 He said that the service rendered to the SMCU is on a voluntary basis.

Re-elected by majority vote to the Board of Directors at the SMCU last Friday were Dr. John Morris, Rene Torres, Debbie Martinez and Doroteo Balan.

While the SMCU has greatly improved its customer reception and shareholding base, it still faces fierce competition from other financial institutions. As a result the SMCU has sought to diversify its economic activity and is now offering micro finance under a highly successful Belize Rural Finance Program.