Teachers Credit Union moves from under  100 members to over  13,000 in 45 years
Miriam Roache
May 5, 2023
Teachers Credit Union moves from under 100 members to over 13,000 in 45 years

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Cooperative Credit Union (SVGTCCU) has seen its membership grow from 88 to 13,302 since its formation in 1978.

The SVGTCCU which was registered on May, 24, 1978, is now celebrating its 45th anniversary which was launched at a press conference on Tuesday, April 25 at its Headquarters under the theme ‘Forty Five Years: Continuity, Stability and Sustainability for all Vincentians.

President of SVGTCCU, Miriam Roache said this milestone deserves commemoration not only to mark the years of existence or highlight what has been accomplished thus far, but especially because they are able to exhale liberally after the travails of the last few years.

“We have successfully navigated through a period wrought by natural disasters, including hurricanes and the eruption of La Soufrière Volcano the COVID-19 pandemic and its attended difficulties, so now we have all reason to celebrate,” Roache said.

“This year’s celebration seeks to highlight our achievements and all contributions to the development of our members, the general public and St. Vincent and the Grenadines where possible.” She said the Credit Union will continue to find tangible ways to give back to communities and its loyal members.

Chief Executive Officer, Jasmine Huggins-Daly said the Credit Union arose out of a need to provide a solution for teachers who were disenfranchised after the 1975 strike, and who, by virtue of standing for their rights, suffered displacement, loss of salary and varying forms of discrimination.

“As we proudly celebrate the 45th anniversary of this organization, we acknowledge those persons for their strength, foresight and their resilience; but for those who suffered this incident is the legacy on which the SVGTCCU was built, and has been the hallmark of why we continue to ensure the principle of people helping people is entrenched not only in what we do but how we do it.”

Huggins-Daly further thanked the persons who signed the registration form for the establishment of the SVGTCCU Limited for demonstrating their commitment to the credit union noting that they have played a huge role in its existence today.

“Since its registration the SVGTCCU has experienced extensive growth in every aspect of its operations. There is growth in membership, assets and the products and services offered,” the CEO said as she pointed to the organisation’s growth in membership over those years.

“We can now agree that the expansion of the common bond was a worthwhile initiative and it provided the impetus for the credit union’s growth and membership having expanded fully in 2004 to all Vincentians at home and abroad.”

She noted that the expansion of the common bond was phased in over a 19 year period starting in 1985 when the children of members of the teaching profession were allowed to join, and four years later it further expanded to offer membership to the brothers, sisters and parents of members.

“In 1998, the extension allowed for relatives of members, and finally in 2004, all Vincentians were permitted to join.” From an asset base of $3,565 in the first three months of operation, Huggins-Daly said “our assets have grown exponentially and are presently valued at $171 million. Important to note is that loans to members has attained its $100 million mark and currently stands at $102 million.”

She added that the growth in assets is an indication of the strides the credit union has made over the years and this demonstrates its continuity, stability, and sustainability. She also pointed to the evolution of the credit union’s products and services over the years, “the range of loans and saving products have expanded, and are more specifically tailored to enhance the members’ experience”.

“For example, the revolving credit loan product, the top-up feature being the most unique feature which grants members access to funds on demand, and the bonding loan product which makes the acquisition of consumer loans more affordable by bonding with a mortgage; and a suite of saving products which include the retirement savings plan, adolescent savings plan which aids in the security of finances for the future and prepare adults for the next phase in their life’s journey.”

Huggins-Daly implored all members to establish a retirement savings plan account, and urged parents to start saving for their children’s future.

The Barrouallie Secondary School which won the SVGTCCU School Bands Showcase Jingles contest performed at Tuesday’s launch of the credit union’s 45th anniversary celebrations.