Concerned Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union Members Speaking Out

Submitted by BPWCCUL Concerned Members Coalition

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Paul Maxwell,Treasurer of BPWCCUL, a Director of CAPITA, a Director of BPW Financial Holdings and was recently named as CEO of CAPITA – accused of conflict of interest

Members of the Press

The Annual General Meeting of Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union will be held on June 18th 2011 and will be a watershed as a large number of fed up and concerned members will be there to let their voices be heard.

The major issues are:

  • Two cases of fraud which are being covered up by the Management, Board and Supervisory Committee. These fraud cases were not reported to the external auditors or to the regulator as required by section 215 of the Cooperatives Societies Act. Indeed the CEO and Management did not follow the procedures set out in their own anti-fraud policy — which should have seen the Internal Auditor immediately alerted and the necessary investigations conducted. Two staff members have lost their jobs so far and dozens of members whose cards were created by one particular individual are at risk. While these two staff members are no longer with the organisation, there is evidence that they did not act alone. The members are therefore concerned about any involvement by others including supervisory and management staff.

  • Excessive travel by Paul Maxwell, a member of the Board who is also Treasurer of BPWCCUL, a Director of CAPITA, a Director of BPW Financial Holdings and was recently named as CEO of CAPITA. These also represent major conflicts of interest. He is already booked to attend conferences AFTER he vacates his seat on the Board on June 18th in contravention of a Board Policy which was used to get rid of then member Mr. Caswell Franklyn. Mr. Maxwell was instrumental in bringing down Mr. Franklyn now is completely ignoring the rule he created to oust Mr. Franklyn at the time.

  • The recent naming of Mr. Maxwell as the successor to Ms. Clorinda Alleyne – current CEO. In a recent memo to the Board, she named Mr. Maxwell and another member of staff Natalie Holder as her choices to succeed her. Ms. Holder as General Counsel if she is interested would be fine but the naming of Mr. Maxwell is offensive to the members. The Credit Union management positions are not part of Mr. Maxwell’s fiefdom to be handed down from one friend to another. AT this stage we would recall the fact that Mr. Maxwell contrary to the organisation’s policy used the CEO’s and other BPWCCUL vehicles while he served as President with no regard for the organisation’s rules.
  • Excessive travel by a member of Staff – Tracia Pounder (search for photos of her travels on facebook) She (as a supervisor) has travelled more than any member of staff including the Chief Executive Officer during the last year.  Only one other person has travelled more and that is Mr. Maxwell.
  • The ineffectiveness of the Supervisory Committee. this committee is chaired by Cedric Murrell, the chairman of CTUSAB, VP of the NUPW, Chief Air Traffic Controller, Director of NISE, deputy Chairman of the St. Philip South Constituency Council, Regional Executive Director with the International Association of Air Traffic Controllers. He also plans to run for the Board – How can this represent good governance? How can he assure members that he will have the time needed to be an effective Director? There is a conflict between his role as a leading trade unionist and the potential role as employer/Director of Barbados’ largest Credit Union.
  • The fact that Mr. Maxwell encouraged a Kieva Cadogan to run and mis-led members into supporting her as a Director when he knew that she was a BANK INSPECTOR at the Central Bank. Under the Financial Institution’s Act, CAP 324A at Section 52, as the owner of CAPITA, BPWCCUL is subject to regulatory authority from the Central Bank. How can she therefore sit as a Director of BPWCCUL and effectively perform her role as a Bank Examiner. In past years the Central bank has actually carried out examinations of BPWCCUL in association with the substantive regulator. Ms. Cadogan should do the decent thing and resign as a Director. The Central Bank Governor should also be asked to explain this clear conflict.
  • The fact that one Director Ms. Marilyn Mapp works outside of Barbados in Grenada (as Finance Officer of the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network) and therefore cannot attend Board meetings with any regularity. Our information is that she has not declared this information to the Board and while she travels back for a few meetings (4 during the last year) she also travels on behalf of the credit union regularly notwithstanding her very poor attendance.
  • Why does the credit union have to pay for nearly the entire Board to attend a short 1 or 2 hour ceremony to formally launch a 7 or 8 million dollar business in St. Lucia (CAPITA Launch on Friday). Could the Credit Union not be adequately represented by one or two Board members and a couple Managers??
  • Well-documented relationships between prominent Board Members and members of Staff who are rewarded with oversees trips to conferences as a result of their compliance with Directors’ requests
  • The fact that the Credit Union President  Mr. Terrol Inniss went on a birthday bash to Hawaii unknown to most Board Members. It was the Credit Union Executive Society’s Symposium 2011: A CEO/Chairman Exchange.  It was held at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa from February 6th to 12th.
  • The Concerned members also wish to know whether a Group Strategic Plan has been devised to streamline the operations of the Group?? If not why not?
  • We also wish to know when was the last appraisal of the Chief Executive Officer carried out by the Board? Given the concerns previously expressed by the regulator was an appraisal done this year? If one was not done is it the Board’s intention to continue to pay the CEO their share of the profit-sharing plan in the absence of any documentation of their performance?
  • What is the status of the Credit Unions Investment in Cooperators General Insurance?? Was this investment approved by the Registrar in keeping with the requirements of the Act in terms of such investments? If not what sanction can be imposed on the members of the Board?? Was this a prudent investment given the credit union’s existing investments in Insurance Corporation of Barbados?

Sincerely,

BPWCCUL Concerned Members Coalition

115 thoughts on “Concerned Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union Members Speaking Out

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  4. Since 2011 BU had an eye. It has come to pass.


    Capita shake-up

    CEO exits, board resigns as company fined thousands
    by SHAWN CUMBERBATCH
    shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
    A MAJOR SHAKE-UP has started at CAPITA Financial Services Inc. as it faces thousands of dollars in fines from regulators and parent company concerns about its performance.
    The MIDWEEK NATION has learnt that, following the recent installation of a new board of directors, the company owned by the country’s largest credit union, Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Ltd (BPWCCUL), parted ways with its chief executive officer (CEO) Paul Maxwell last Friday.
    Efforts to reach Maxwell, who previously departed CAPITA Financial but returned to lead it, were unsuccessful. However, a representative of its new sixmember board, now chaired by Courtney Gibson, with Derrick Cummins as his deputy, said “communication” on the CEO’s exit was likely to come this week.
    Members of CAPITA Financial’s previous board of Carole Eleuther-Jn Marie (chairman), Terrol Inniss (deputy chairman), and directors Andrew Brathwaite, Trevor Colluci, Luther Jones and Sandra Osborne, all resigned.
    The company, which was renamed CAPITA Financial after BPWCCUL entity BPW Financial Holdings Inc. secured CLICO Mortgage & Finance Corporation on August 27, 2010, has been hit with thousands of dollars in fines by regulators over the failure to complete its latest financials on time.
    When contacted on the matter, the Central Bank of Barbados, which issued the licence for CAPITA Financial to operate, did not go into detail, only stating: “Please note that penalties represent one of the tools in the bank’s arsenal.”
    The fines were, however, confirmed by BPWCCUL members who attended the organisation’s annual general meeting (AGM) on December 3, and by an official briefed on the matter.
    “The financials were not completed so there was a $10 000 fine imposed and then $500 a day until they submitted them, and they were supposed to submit them on the 14th of December. It is expected to cost them about $17 000,” the official said.
    The fines imposed and CAPITA Financial’s overall performance was one of the contentious issues discussed at its parent company’s unfinished AGM.
    The company’s failure to produce audited financials was also flagged as an issue of major concern by BPWCCUL’s board of directors in its annual report for the financial year ended March 31, 2022.
    Not finalised
    “CAPITA Financial Services Inc.’s Group audit was not finalised and approved as at the time of this report. This is a matter that is being taken very seriously by this board which has and continues to express its disapproval and discontent about the matter to the subsidiary board charged with oversight of the CAPITA Financial Services Inc. Group,” the directors said.
    “We have mandated that the necessary work be done by all parties to ensure this unacceptable position is rectified within the very short term. In addition, we will also be conducting a review upon completion of the CAPITA audit, and will be taking the requisite and focused actions required to eliminate the root causes of this undesirable performance in order to avoid a repeat by any entity within the group.”
    CAPITA Financial operates here and in St Lucia. BPWCCUL’s board of directors said in their report that based on their subsidiary’s draft reports, at the end of the financial period ended March 31, 2022, “net income decreased year-on-year by 24.2 per cent to finish the period at $1.4 million versus the prior year’s $1.8 million”.
    Officials also said that while the group’s revenue increased by 21.7 per cent, “this was not significant enough to offset the 32.4 per cent growth in operating expenses that fully eroded that revenue growth”.
    Shortcomings
    Since this information was unaudited, the board of directors cautioned that there was “a possibility that the final audited financials will be different”.
    BPWCCUL’s hierarchy also said that there would be “key business development and operational support recruitments to fix noticeable shortcomings in the coming fiscal period” at CAPITAL Financial.
    The directors added: “These operational changes, coupled with implementation of the recommendations arising from the ongoing independent corporate governance review, will help in realising the objective of improving the CAPITA Group’s performance and overall contribution.”

    Source: Nation

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