President Anthony Carmona says the time has come for credit unions to be be able legally to cash old age pensions.
He disclosed this while delivering the feature address at a ceremony held by the Palo Seco Credit Union to commemorate International Credit Union Day. Describing credit unions as, “economic giants looked upon with jaundiced eyes”, Carmona said credit unions must begin steps to become an exchange cambio.
This cambio, the President added, must be strictly in Caribbean dollars. Carmona said this initiative would also take the strain off the US requirements that are often demanded by various business people.
In addition, the president also suggested steps be taken for credit unions to begin cashing pension cheques.
“Credit Unions have created economic magic not only in Trinidad and Tobago but in the Caribbean region and I am suggesting that moves should be afoot to ensure pensioners are able to cash their cheques at credit unions,” the president stated.
Carmona said credit unions play a very important part in any diversification thrust. “You have a proven track record and I can’t recall of any credit union floundering on the rocks of economics negligence.
You all are the David in the Goliath of our economics,” Carmona said. He added that any person in authority who wants solutions in the area of economics must consider credit unions.
“More so in a time when we are suffering the vagaries of recession, when we are suffering from an economic model that is not working. We need to think outside the box,” he said. Carmona said credit unions have assisted many families across the nation evident from even in his home community in Palo Seco.
“I went primary school and only a few of us passed Common Entrance, I remember as a young man hearing the role of Palo Seco Credit Union in supplying resources to parents who need it and ensuring their children go to secondary schools,” Carmona said.
He recalled hearing neighbours talk about loans they received from the Palo Seco Credit Union to buy toys, material to build houses and start businesses. “Whereas other financial institutions demanded collateral, the credit union has always displayed a type of economic reverence to those who don’t have,” Carmona said.
Later during the ceremony, he filled out an application at the credit union to become a member. Another speaker, President of the Co-operative Credit Union League Joseph Remy, agreed with Carmona’s suggestion of credit unions becoming an exchange cambio.