The St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union Opens New Premises on Bour­bon Street, Cas­tries

The Star (St. Lucia) - Business Week - - VENEZUELA -

The St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union con­tin­ues to go from strength to strength cre­at­ing greater op­por­tu­ni­ties and ad­van­tages for its mem­bers at ev­ery stage. In­dica­tive of the SLWCU’s faith in the fu­ture is the an­nounce­ment of the credit union’s move to its new big­ger and bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties on Bour­bon Street Cas­tries on 23rd July, 2018. Three years ago, the St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union had the fore­sight to move their then lo­ca­tion at the Gable Woods Mall to the place that were once oc­cu­pied by the RBTT/RBC bank. As one in­ter­ested by­stander stated at that moment, “The St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union is re­ally snap­ping at the heels of the big for­eign banks!” The comment, though friv­o­lous, was quite apt. A com­par­i­son is ap­pro­pri­ate be­cause like all credit unions, the St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union is owned and op­er­ated by its mem­bers, which means bet­ter rates and lower fees than those that cus­tomers in both lo­cal and for­eign com­mer­cial banks have to put up with. While it would be wrong to im­ply that the Boards of Di­rec­tors of Com­mer­cial Banks do not nec­es­sar­ily work with the best in­ter­ests of their clients in mind, their first obli­ga­tion is to make money for the bank’s share­hold­ers; what­ever the mes­sage broad­cast on flashy ex­pen­sive bill­boards might con­vey, com­mer­cial banks are op­er­ated in such a way as to pro­vide their share­hold­ers with the max­i­mum profit. They are not there for the ben­e­fit of their cus­tomers. Like all credit unions, the St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union dif­fers from banks; it is a not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion. Hav­ing said that, it has to be stressed that the credit union is op­er­ated on strictly pro­fes­sional lines to cre­ate a sur­plus – sim­i­lar to a profit – the dif­fer­ence be­ing that much of such sur­pluses or prof­its are re­turned to its share­hold­ing mem­bers through a sys­tem of Div­i­dends and Pa­tron­age Re­funds. The sav­ings of mem­bers are safe – at least as safe as bank de­posits, if not more so – in their credit unions; de­posits are in­sured through CUNA Mu­tual at no di­rect cost to the mem­bers. The Board of Di­rec­tors and the em­ploy­ees of the St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union are ex­cited by this move to new premises and the op­por­tu­nity to serve their mem­bers even bet­ter in the years to come. The credit union’s easy ac­cess and height­ened vis­i­bil­ity in the cen­ter of Cas­tries will, it is an­tic­i­pated, re­sult in more and more St Lu­cian Work­ers dis­cov­er­ing the ad­van­tages of joining their union. Credit unions are gov­erned by un­paid vol­un­teer Boards of Di­rec­tors demo­crat­i­cally elected by the mem­ber­ship from the mem­ber­ship. All mem­bers get one vote re­gard­less of their fi­nan­cial po­si­tion. At present, the St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union has a branch at Gable Woods Mall as well as the new lo­cal­ity in Cas­tries. The open­ing hours are mem­ber­ship-friendly: Monday to Thurs­day, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Fri­days, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Bour­bon Street to fa­cil­i­tate early 8:00 a.m. busi­ness, and at Gable Woods, where com­merce starts a lit­tle more slowly, Monday to Thurs­day 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Gable Woods branch is also open on Satur­days be­tween 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to make life eas­ier for shop­pers. As from Septem­ber 01st 2018, the of­fice on Bour­bon Street will also open on Satur­days be­tween 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union has come a long way since its in­cep­tion. Thirty six years ago, it was not the en­tity it is to­day. The seed was sown within the walls of Ca­ble and Wire­less. The idea of form­ing a Credit Union was borne in May 1981 when one of the found­ing fa­thers ex­plored the pos­si­bil­ity dur­ing a trade union train­ing course and dis­cus­sions be­gan with other mem­bers who al­ready knew of the con­cept. The St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union was formed in July, 1982 by the staff of Ca­ble & Wire­less who used their bond of mem­ber­ship of the St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Union to come to­gether to bet­ter them­selves fi­nan­cially. The orig­i­nal mem­bers de­serve praise for their vi­sion of a bet­ter to­mor­row. The Credit Union could not have be­come what it is to­day with­out their firm sup­port and com­mit­ment. The St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union is the ideal, and nat­u­ral choice for the Work­ers of St Lu­cia when con­sid­er­ing how best to safe­guard their fu­tures and build a bet­ter to­mor­row. A Union im­plies Unity, a Com­mon Bond, a Shared Goal, and Mu­tual As­sis­tance and Sup­port. The next time you pass the premises of the St Lu­cia Work­ers’ Credit Union both at Gable Woods and Bour­bon Street, pause for a moment and con­sider whether or not the credit union would be the right choice for you. Now is the time for the work­ers of St Lu­cia to form a com­mon bond to the ben­e­fit of us all. Let the St Lu­cia Work­ers Credit Union be­come the pri­vate sec­tor Credit Union for the work­ers of St Lu­cia. Visit a Credit Union near you to­day and let us part­ner with you in build­ing your fu­ture!

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