July 13, 2014
A former member of the Cat Island Co-operative Credit Union Ltd. (CICCUL) has expressed frustration at continued delays in the union's liquidation, claiming that little progress has been made in nearly a year.
A former CICCUL member and advisory board member of the union's proposed Eleuthera branch told Guardian Business that he had invested over $30,000 in life savings in the union and had still not been compensated, despite assurances from the Bahamas Co-operative League Ltd. (BCLL) that progress had been made.
The CICCUL was founded by credit unionist Eris Moncur in 1998 and until recently was the only financial institution serving Cat Island. The union went into liquidation in August 2013.
General Manager of the BCLL Stephanie Missick-Jones claimed that the liquidation of the union was "progressing" but that the CICCUL "can't issue payments as yet". Missick-Jones still could not provide a definitive window for member payouts. BCLL is currently carrying out the liquidation process.
Director of the Department of Cooperative Development (DCD) Nathaniel Adderley said in January that while the liquidation was underway, the process had been "slower than I would have preferred".
The liquidation affected nearly 400 people, primarily Cat Islanders, who had invested an estimated $500,000. Adderley felt that the union might have been a victim of its size.
"I think in the case of Cat Island, they didn't have the numbers to support the expenditure they had. That was part of the problem. You need the level of business volume to support your expenses and if that is not resolved, you will continue to have deficits."
However, the former member, who wished to remain unnamed, feared that the fate of the CICCUL and subsequent delays in its liquidation could have a wider impact on credit unions in the future, by making potential investors more skeptical.
Neither Adderley nor Moncur were available for comment up to press time.
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