NWC and C&WJ credit unions merge

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Tameka Gordon Busi­ness Re­porter tameka.gordon @glean­erjm.com

THE NA­TIONAL Wa­ter Com­mis­sion Co-op­er­a­tive Credit Union (NWCCCUL) and the Com­mu­nity and Work­ers of Ja­maica Co-op­er­a­tive Credit Union (C&WJCCUL) have merged to be­come a $10-bil­lion op­er­a­tion and the sec­ond-largest credit union.

The Ja­maica Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion Co-op­er­a­tive Credit Union re­mains the largest by as­sets.

The merger took ef­fect on Oc­to­ber 1 and gives C&WJCCUL a foothold in the wa­ter ser­vices sec­tor.

“We have been con­sid­er­ing this for about five years based on the new reg­u­la­tions of the cen­tral bank,” gen­eral man­ager of NWCCCUL Her­bert Duval told Gleaner Busi­ness.

Duval said that with the NWCCCUL as the smaller of the en­ti­ties by as­sets and mem­ber base, the com­pany was forced to con­sider a merger to stay afloat, given the dy­nam­ics in the mar­ket.

“With the com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket and with th­ese other un­reg­u­lated in­sti­tu­tions and the un­se­cured ceil­ing that was put on credit unions, it made it a lit­tle bit more dif­fi­cult for us to com­pete,” he said.

The NWCCCUL also only served per­sons in the wa­ter ser­vices in­dus­try, given its co­op­er­a­tive so­ci­ety bond, which also meant a smaller mar­ket than the larger C&WJCCU, which serves the tele­coms, agri­cul­ture and baux­ite in­dus­tries, among oth­ers.

“The type of liq­uid­ity that we wanted to gather, within our lit­tle group, it’s dif­fi­cult for them to save that type of money, so we de­cided to join a larger group,” said Duval.

PER­FECT FIT

The C&WJCCUL’s struc­ture and net­work made the deal a per­fect fit, the gen­eral man­ager said.

The merger will see the as­sets and li­a­bil­i­ties of the NWCCCUL trans­ferred to C&WJCCUL. The merged body has as­sets of $10.5 bil­lion and mem­ber­ship of around 78,000 drawn from the tourism, tele­coms, agri­cul­ture, baux­ite, ship­ping and wa­ter re­source sec­tors.

“They will be able to give larger loans that our cash flow couldn’t han­dle at this point,” Duval said. “It has made us more com­pet­i­tive.”

The NWCCCUL’s Mandeville and Mon­tego Bay branches have been closed, since the larger part­ner in the merger al­ready op­er­ates branches in those lo­ca­tions. Its Port Maria, St Mary, Eureka Road and Marescaux Road, Kingston branches have been re­branded C&WJCCUL.

With the merger, the credit union now has 18 branches spread is­land­wide.

“The merger rep­re­sents an­other bold move by credit unions in Ja­maica to make their op­er­a­tions more ef­fi­cient with the pri­mary ob­jec­tive of im­prov­ing the value of the credit unions to their mem­bers,” the com­pa­nies said in a me­dia ad­ver­tise­ment.

C&WJCCUL has re­tained “quite a bit of our prod­ucts and the ar­range­ment is that they will con­tinue with the prod­ucts that we have so our mem­bers will not lose any­thing”, said Duval.

Four­teen dif­fer­ent loan prod­ucts are now avail­able to mem­bers.

OC­TO­BER 9, 2016 Her­bert Duval, gen­eral man­ager of the NWC Co-op­er­a­tive Credit Union.

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