Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union Members Urged To Take Back Their Credit Union From The Few Who Have Hijacked It

Submitted by Cat Eyes


Clorinda Alleyne, CEO, Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Limited

  1. How is it that the CEO of this credit union makes almost $20,000 per month, inclusive of allowances. More than the Prime Minister of this country?  More than what some executives of private sector banks and insurance companies earn; more than some executives who have to perform and are appraised on performance. She also receives leave passage – the type that longstanding civil servants receive- holiday with passage paid for by the members. They have smartly sat down and crafted an exceptional salaries and benefits package for Alleyne who adds no value to the institution if you were to review her performance. Her salary is almost 6 thousand dollars more than her deputy the Legal Counsel. Those gaps in salary ranges are highly unusual. The CEO of the PW credit union has no financial qualifications, save for the credit union courses, and was a less than stellar attorney before joining the organisation as its Legal Counsel, yet through the machinations of Paul, and certainly not on ability or skill she is the head of this organisation.
  2. The CEO has a chauffeur who is paid out of the organisation’s coffers. The reasoning was that she was suffering from dizziness so she could  not drive. For five years or more this has been occurring. It was suggested that the driver, who is a messenger at the credit union, be paid the overtime for chauffeuring her, out of her salary. He also picked up her children from schools that are within walking distance of the credit union..
  3. For over three years Paul Maxwell, who was laid off from Cable and Wireless and worked nowhere, spent most of his time at the organisation and drove to and from the Credit Union in the car assigned to Alleyne, while she was driven around in another vehicle. The organisation’s car was in the possession of a non-executive director for over a year – being serviced etc. with members’ money – and nothing was done about it.
  4. When Caswell’s trip was cancelled, we the members lost approximately $10 thousand dollars in non-refundable expenses which were paid. His trip was cancelled out of spite, and we all know who was behind it. They have absolutely no regard for how our money is spent, as long as their end is achieved. So ” … cancel his trip, who the hell cares if the members’ money is pitched into Maxwell Pond as long as he does not go anywhere we are happy.”
  5. For the past decade some very bright and independent minds have left the institution because of the actions of the “musical chairs” Board. The management  staff complement then becomes a compliant, mentally sterile, ethically devoid group of trip hunters who take the lavish salaries, the healthy profit sharing and say “yes sir, yes sir, three bags full” and grin all the way to the salary counter. Petrified to object to anything.

My recommendation is that the whole Board face a no-confidence motion. Also, people like Cedric Murrell, who have proven to be major disappointments in the manner in which they have condoned this behaviour as members of the Supervisory Committee, should be permanently off.

The function of the Registrar of Cooperatives has functioned in this case just as the Supervisor of Insurance functioned with CLICO. THEY DID NOT FUNCTION!!! Couple their inaction with a complacent, greedy membership which seems to have no concept of what a credit union should be and no comprehension of their responsibility as members, and we have problems.

In moving forward, members would have to petition/agitate for Paul Maxwell to be forbidden to serve on any decision-making entities related to the credit union. They are currently making plans to establish a new company that will be providing services to smaller credit unions, and another unemployed clique member, Dean St. Hill, is tipped to head that company. Paperwork is with the Registrar. Members need to put their foot down.

It is unfortunate that this matter had to be aired here. But that is what happens when people feel they have no voice in the forum that should listen and act. I certainly hope it does not undermine public confidence in the institution, which by and large is a great one. But this development is a result of a lapse in the vigilance we all knew used to be the hallmark of successful credit unions.

Get to the AGM, demand answers- do not allow Paul and company to use by laws to block discussion (and threats of legal action from the bully Alleyne). Organise, and do like them and get a lawyer to go with the group if you can. And when you get your answers, petition, move motions, do whatever you can to bring the freewheeling by that group to an end. Take back your credit union.

329 thoughts on “Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union Members Urged To Take Back Their Credit Union From The Few Who Have Hijacked It

  1. Christopher
    Imagine that you were fired from your job and the employer is required by operation of the law to pay you $2,000, but instead pays you $20,000. Are you going to go to court and say you only owe me $2,000?
    The court is not concerned that you have a point to prove. If the employer tells the court that he acknowledges that he wrongfully terminated the worker, the court would only be concerned about the quantum of damages. The court would not provide you with a soap box to air your views; you have Brass Tacks for that.

  2. What doth the one man union protest about this time ? A reject of the Credit Union Movement now stakes claim to having a union of one man,Franklyn in anything a union must mean more than one, in marriage it is union of two persons, in your case you are pontificating as if your are a voice of authority, you like you looking to do a Roger Smith Move if you can get more than one member in your Union and get some money passing thru you gone clear with it, that is what you lurking round for ?..

  3. @Caswell Franklyn: “Imagine that you were fired from your job and the employer is required by operation of the law to pay you $2,000, but instead pays you $20,000. Are you going to go to court and say you only owe me $2,000?

    No. I wouldn’t go the court.

    But nor would I cash that $20,000 check because I know it contains conditions of silence…

    There are times when one’s morals are more important than cash.

  4. The Chairman of a meeting controls the meeting and possesses a significant amount of power in the meeting room. Directors usually control shareholders’ meetings through the Chairman. While the relevant legislation may limit the business conducted at a shareholders’ meeting to that outlined in the notice, further control may be exerted by the Chairman by unreasonably limiting or not allowing discussion on some items. For example, the Chairman may move to limit questions regarding directors’ entertainment expenses. Subject to the relevant rules/by-laws, concerned members need to first work to appoint a Chairman that will be sympathetic and allow full, though relevant, discussion and questions from the members. Caswell, what are the rules governing the appointment of the Chairman of a BPWCCUL members’ meeting?

  5. A. Freeman
    From the time that I attended my first credit union meeting in 1981, the President has always chaired the meetings of members. However, as far as I am aware, there is nothing in the Act, Regulations or By-laws that has prescribed that requirement.

  6. What doth the one man union protest about this time ? A reject of the Credit Union Movement now stakes claim to having a union of one man,Franklyn in anything a union must mean more than one, in marriage it is union of two persons, in your case you are pontificating as if your are a voice of authority, you like you looking to do a Roger Smith Move if you can get more than one member in your Union and get some money passing thru you gone clear with it, that is what you lurking round for ?

  7. I have been following this for quite some time and I must say that Caswell has succeeded in mixing loads of fiction with lots of quotes from various pieces of law and very little truth to create the equivalent of an emotional molotov cocktail which is aimed at destroying a credit union that has been there for its members for 40 years.

    As a member I went to get the AUDITED financial reports and I am shocked because the financials bear no resemblance to what has been discussed over the past days.

    Ernst and Young has signed off an unqualified audit for the organisation.

    The main financial highlights include a $6.069M net income. This is down from last year but the loan provision has been increased by nearly $2M which I think you would expect in the current economic environment. Note 6 details the operating expenses and ENTERTAINMENT is a whopping $55K compared to $58k last year.

    People talked about PEARLS and BPWCCUL’s total expense/average asset ratio is 3.9% where PEARLS says anything less than 5% is excellent. We could split hairs in terms of what specific line expenses could be reduced or increased but this is well inline with the world’s best credit unions.

    The assets have increased from $671M last year to $842M this year a 25% increase – way beyond PEARLS definition of excellence (inflation+10%) I would guess that includes the CMFC acquisition.

    The credit union also has net loans of $712M which is 84% of its assets in loans. PEARLS says excellence is achieved anywhere around 70-80%. It is therefore using its resources to lend money to people not to INVEST in risky schemes or in Equities or anything else.

    In terms of solvency BPWCCUL has a solvency ratio of 123% where PEARLS says excellence is achieved at 111%. (This is the ratio of total assets / total shares and deposits)

    In a nutshell we could all get down in the mud and dirty ourselves and tarnish the name of an incredibly successful Barbadian institution or we can be responsible and get the facts – not the facts according to Caswell. The facts as presented in the financial report which is available.

    Now having said all that sure the Board needs to answer some searching questions – I will be there at the AGM and I will have lots of questions but getting rid of the board and all the other pie-in-the-sky stuff being conjured up especially by Caswell is more than a little over-the-top.

    As for the people talking about pulling out money – sure you can go ahead and pull it out. You’ll just have to settle for a lower rate as the CU’s are offering some of the best rates. They can afford to do that because they are lending out their money not keeping it in bank accounts or in short term investments. And with a deposit base of $673M I’m sure you’ll hurt more than the organisation.

    Let’s get real people. Come to the meeting, armed with your questions, demand answers, elect the best people to serve (we need more women on the board!!! so give them some support), say no to the recycling of Directors who have served for 15 years plus and lets have a good meeting.

    • @Green Giant

      To be fair a lot of the comment about the credit union speaks to it moving away from a core philosophy and not* its financial performance which many acknowledge has been good.

      You also should acknowledge that because a company has a strong balance sheet it does not absolve those officers charged with running the company business from the breaches which have been highlighted in contravention of the by-laws of the company..

  8. @just thinking about
    @green giant

    stop being so jealous of Caswell. Not everyone are born leaders…u are not…he is. not everyone has intelligence…u are not..he is. both ur comments add nothing to the debate while Caswell is seeking to inform. go and watch Sesame Street please…i want to be informed

  9. Thanks for the info Green Giant.

    For those who are interested, here is a link to some sample policies published by the Kansas Credit Union Association. It includes a sample Expense Reimbursement Policy which covers many of the things we have been discussing here. It encourages the use of credit cards for legitimate credit union business expenses including entertainment, but emphasizes the need for proper documentation and approval.

  10. Green Giant
    Your slip is showing. Outside of a very small core of people, no one at the credit union knows anything about the World Council of Credit Union’s standards called PEARLS. That is because the credit union does not train its members as required by law any more. As a result only a small core group are equipped with the tool to operate a credit union. I happen to be one of that small core group with the knowledge, but I refuse to be corrupt so I am not well loved. I use the knowledge that I acquire over many years of training and experience to defend the credit union.

    PEARLS is no magic bullet, the results can be manipulated. According to PEARLS, 100% of the non-performing loans should be written off after 12 months to give a true indication of the organization’s health. That is, delinquency under 12 months be less than or equal to 5% of the loan portfolio. Redo the numbers with that in mind and tell us what is the true position of the credit union. Public Workers Credit Union does not operate using the world standard know as PEARLS. The take out a few to mislead people by giving the impression that all is well.

    I am sending you a copy of the PEARLS ratios under separate cover so that you can post them for the BU family.

  11. @@Green Giant

    Audited Finanacial Statements do not tell all, futher the big companies that collasped in america were audited. Auditors get their revunue from campanies, and sometimes even the qualifying statements are cleverly worded when they have concerns. Aiditors are mosly concerned with GAAP and sometimes would discover infellicities or miss some, because in some instance they take a sample of transactions to audit..

    I could recall as a young man working with an insurance company there was a young lady who was milking the comany for years and the said comapany was audited by one of the prestigious accounting firm year after and did not discover how she was manipulating the accounts, and freshman off the street picked up she was manipulating th system.

  12. Brutus
    You poor fellow! Kansas and Barbados operate under different laws. It does not follow that what is legal in Kansas is also legal in Barbados. As a matter of fact, there are two different types of credit union systems operating in the USA: there are Federal credit unions and state chartered credit unions and policies differ. Also policies differ from state to state.

    You are just trying to deliberately confuse the issue: I wonder why. Are you benefitting from the largesse at the credit union

  13. @caswell

    If members believe that the chairman is abusing his power, what can they do . Under the rules of meeting if the bye laws or whatever you call them are silent on that matter.

    can the meeting overide the chairman, can they call for an adjourment, ect. i KNOW THAT YOU KNOW THAT the meeting has power so asvise.

  14. Brutus | June 5, 2011 at 6:26 AM |

    I don’t know much about credit union management, but I know there is a financial performance monitoring system known as PEARLS. I would advise members to ask the Board is the credit union is under-performing with respect to any of the PEARLS ratios and benchmarks, and if so what is the Board’s plan for these areas.

    If there is nothing in PEARLS that covers things like expenses for salaries and travel by directors, then members should ask the Board how they decide the overall reasonableness of these amounts and how they compare to expenses in other credit unions of similar size.

    Wow, in my ignorance I seem to have blundered onto something that might be important! Maybe a little learning can sometimes be a good thing 🙂

  15. @David

    David, a lot of what has been written is simply speculative at best or downright wrong wrong wrong. The 9 principles of Cu’s are:

    Democratic Control
    Open and Voluntary Membership

    Service to Members
    Distribution to Members
    Building Financial Stability – A prime concern of the credit union is to build the financial strength, including adequate reserves and internal controls that will ensure continued service to membership.

    On-going Education of members, officers and employees.
    Cooperation Among Cooperatives
    Social Responsibility

    These are at: then click on “operating principles”. You can determine if these principles are being breached.

    You are also far more intelligent than some of your questions suggest so please don’t suggest that I’m trying to absolve directors from anything. There are two issues. The institution – which we must seek to protect and the directors and their alleged transgressions which may breach by-laws etc.

    In the example I cited, entertainment was less than $60k in a 850 million dollar institution – thats a fact. Whether it is in breach of all the mombo jumbo law that Mr. Franklyn quotes is one for the law courts. The fact that he seems to have done everything possible to bring this to those courts without traction suggests to me that while Mr. Franklyn is enthusiastic, well-intentioned etc. he’s also WRONG!! Just because someone believes strongly that they are right does not mean they are. Sorry but that’s life.

    @Smooth Chocolate
    I could not be jealous of Mr. Franklyn if I tried. Here is the one person in Barbados that has no credibility. In life, it is good to be an idealist and to champion these ideals. At some stage one generally becomes pragmatic and sometime perhaps while you’re a teenager you work out that if you see your Dad using your mum’s cream you won’t exactly call the police. You also determine the scale of issues and respond appropriately.

    In Mr. Franklyn’s case he needs to grow up. If he wants to be a lawyer do like every other lawyer and invest the time to do it. Otherwise stop pretending to be something you’re not. Stop pretending.

    He has worked for all sorts of organisations, Government, NUPW etc. In every case it seems he’s had some kind of grouse. He needs to leave organisations before he bites the hand that’s feeding him. Its a basic principle. But I forget – he has no principles. That’s why he would refer to things that happened while he was a director in possible breach of these same laws he’s quoting.

    We can also ask him for full disclosure about every trip he’s made while he was an insider of the credit union. He didn’t seem to have any issues then but there were no blogs then so maybe he did have issues but no outlet. He should also disclose what needs to be disclosed about his World Cup involvement and other quasi-illegal schemes he’s been involved with over the years. He’s lucky not to be behind bars.

    So Smooth Chocolate, I am capable of jealousy but incapable of being jealous of that sorry individual who just needs to grow up.

  16. Just to play devil’s advocate again, Green Giant mentioned that the solvency ratio of the BPWCUL is much higher than required. This might support the case for higher dividends or higher interest rebates (patronage refunds). I would be interested in informed views on this, including from Caswell and Green Giant.

  17. Just only asking
    The cchairman has only those powers that the meeting allow him to have. He can be overruled at any time by the required majority.

    Also, members can adjourn a meeting at any time, by simply proposing and seconding a motion to that effect, once that is done the chairman must put it to the floor and once a simple majority votes for the motion the meeting is adjourned.

  18. @Caswell – re your post at 9:50 am. You are determined to pick a fight even where what I posted supports much of your position. If credit union principles vary across jurisdictions then which principles are you and Bush Tea using?

    In any event, the opening two paragraphs of the expense policy seem to mirror what might be seen as the spirit of S.68 of our legislation.

    • Here is the link to PEARLS which list key ratios used by the credit union to manage its business:

      P – Protection Goals (Excellence)
      1. Loan Losses Allowances / Delinq. >12 Mo. 100%
      2. Net Loan Loss Allowances / WOCCU Allowance Required for Delinq. 1-12 Mo. 35%
      3. Complete Loan Charge-off of Delinq. > 12 Mo. Yes
      4. Annual Loan Charge-offs / Average Loan Portfolio Minimized
      5. Accum. Charge-offs Recovered / Accum. Charge-offs > 75%
      6. Solvency (Net Value of Assets/Total Shares & Deposits) ≥ 111%

      E – Effective Financial Structure
      Goals (Excellence)
      1. Net Loans / Total Assets 70-80%
      2. Liquid Investments / Total Assets ≤ 16%
      3. Financial Investments / Total Assets ≤ 2%
      4. Non-financial Investments / Total Assets 0%
      5. Savings Deposits / Total Assets 70-80%
      6. External Credit / Total Assets 0-5%
      7. Member Share Capital / Total Assets ≤ 20%
      8. Institutional Capital / Total Assets ≥ 10%
      9. Net Institutional Capital / Total Assets ≥ 10%

      A – Asset Quality
      Goals (Excellence)
      1. Total Loan Delinquency / Gross Loan Portfolio ≤ 5%
      2. Non-earning Assets / Total Assets ≤ 5%
      3. Net Zero Cost Funds / Non-earning Assets ≥ 200%

      R – Rates of Return and Costs
      Goals (Excellence)
      1. Net Loan Income / Average Net Loan Portfolio Entrepreneurial Rate
      2. Liquid Inv. Income / Avg. Liquid Investments Market Rates
      3. Fin. Investment Income / Avg. Fin. Investments Market Rates
      4. Non-fin. Inv. Income / Avg. Non-fin. Investments ≥ R1
      5. Fin. Costs: Savings Deposits / Avg. Savings Deposits Market Rates > Inflation
      6. Fin. Costs: External Credit / Avg. External Credit Market Rates
      7. Fin. Costs: Member Shares / Avg. Member Shares Market Rates, > R5
      8. Gross Margin / Average Assets ˆE9=10%
      9. Operating Expenses / Average Assets ≤ 5%
      10. Provisions for Risk Assets / Average Assets ˆP1=100%, ˆP2=35%
      11. Other Income or Expense / Average Assets Minimized
      12. Net Income / Average Assets (ROA)

      L – Liquidity
      Goals (Excellence)
      1. Liquid Assets – ST Payables / Total Deposits 15-20%
      2. Liquidity Reserves / Total Savings Deposits 10%
      3. Non-earning Liquid Assets / Total Assets Inflation + 10%

      ˆ Amount Needed

    • Earlier Cat Eyes alluded to a company which BPWCC is currently working to establish, the objective is to support the small credit unions?

      Has the members been informed about this initiative?

  19. @catseye

    I understand the principles of BPWCCUL better than most of these bloggers, i have been a member since 1974 and was (very active during its infancy) and is very active in the discussions during the agm, and will be more active this time, i have more to protect than any of you on this blog including you, so dont you go including me with those wo dont understand the the issues.

    I remeber paying money to Olive Trotman when she visited department with that suitcase.

  20. @Brutus
    You may be correct but there are limits on how large a dividend can be paid. Additionally with the size of both the loan portfolio and the deposit portfolio, even small movements like 0.5% can quickly erode the net income position.

    Generally these sound like big numbers but in the context of BPWCCUL’s size and scale of operations it could be argued that it does not actually earn enough annually.

    Someone mentioned earlier that CU’s don’t need capital they work off human capital – not so the same PEARLS requires a 10% capital ratio. The credit union is actually below that so they need to fix that. In this year’s financials it looks like their capital is $68M while their total assets are $842M – which is just about 8%.

    This year it seems they are about 16M to 17M off that target. Personally it does not worry me as a member but if we use PEARLS as a standard it is off base and below that standard.

    I sincerely hope to see all of you at the meeting. I will be there early – up front row 2 or 3 armed with my questions. As I said earlier the board has a lot of questions to answer and answer they must but why in heaven would you wish to adjourn the meeting? We need answers not an adjournment. We can use this forum to put together our questions so we have a coordinated approach on these matters.

    I am very willing to help with formulating questions, determining strategy for the meeting etc. but will not be a part of disrupting the meeting for narrow personal gain – which is what Mr. Franklyn would wish so he could declare “I was right”. This is not a game and if Mr. Franklyn wishes, he can create a credit union game like monopoly – I would buy it and he could use it to destroy and build up credit unions safely. He’s tried it with BPW and now he’s headed to COB where he’s been up to his old tricks until he saw another opportunity to wreak havoc with BPW again.

  21. @David
    Thanks for posting those ratios. I’m not much of a finance person so could someone who is, calculate all the ratios? Some are relatively simple, others more complicated. Better yet we should through this blog alert the management and board that we expect a report on these ratios prepared for the AGM!!!

    • @Green Giant

      it seems Brutus maybe the best one here qualified to attempt such if he is up to it.

      BU is prepared to feature a presentation dealing with PEARLS and how BPWC stacks up in a separate blog.

      Such a blog would serve to inform those members attending the meeting coming weekend.

  22. I think Caswell is wasting his time trying to explain so simple a conditioned. Bush Tea would have to be a retard or spent too much time in the jungle, if he cannot understand yet that the issue is not the spending of credit card money on personal or credit union business. the issue is that in ONLY THE MEMBERS OF THE CREDIT UNION could authorized/approve for them to have CREDIT CARDS. It is against the credit union laws for them to issue and approve themselves credit cards. simple example. ur grandmother gave u $300 to hold. u took $100. and bought groceries for the house, which u and ur grandmother share. but even so, looking at the groceries, they consist of many items which is of benefit to u only. the fact that u bought groceries does not mitigate from the fact that the money was never urs to begin with. u embezzelled the money, plain and simple. in this case with the credit union, they might as well had put their had in the people’s money and taken out the amount spent on the credit cards, since the members have to pay for the credit card bills, then in essence that’s what they did. they embezelled our funds.

    • @Brutus

      Your feedback is a little disappointing. We need someone out there to calculate those ratios and let us discussed them.

      Perhaps we have others who are members of other credit union who can run the BPWCC balance sheets through PEARLS.

      To Green Giant, Cat Eyes,sSmooth chocolate et al, the reason your comments are being moderated has to do with the browser you are using. If you don’t want to be moderated download Fire Fox.

  23. @David – I don’t have the 2010 audited financials and I would not want to try to calculate the ratios and make errors. Green Giant makes an excellent suggestion – management should be reporting on all of the ratios and it may not be too late to request that for the AGM.

    I am sure though that Caswell is better qualified to calculate the ratios, and I would be happy to double check his figures 🙂

  24. Do not underestimate the dynamics of the meeting. Not many shareholders, and I suspect members of credit unions, are willing at the point in time to take a meeting into uncharted territory, due to fear or otherwise. The directors and the Chairman that they sponsor are known to the shareholders and usually enjoy their trust for the most part. Opposing shareholders are usually unknown to the shareholders and are sometimes viewed with skepticism. The directors are present, usually have more meeting experience and are more vocal. Unless the concerned members get the opportunity to articulate their position, they are unlikely to get the support of other members. Concerned members need to remain respectful of the Chairman and conduct themselves with decorum. Without a sympathetic Chairman, however, it will be difficult to be heard. Buy a few shares and attend the AGMs in Barbados.

  25. Brutus – the financials are available at the credit union front desk. It seems they are very late with the actual annual report this year. If you could calculate the ratios that would be outstanding and we could take advantage of David’s kind offer.

    @Caswell – Much as you would like to think you are in exclusive clubs, the Barbados Cooperative and Credit Union League has been holding courses on PEARLS and a whole range of credit union issues for many years. I’ve never seen you at one. But then perhaps your training was scheduled for far-away places like Hong Kong so you would have failed to recognise the home-grown courses which are free to any credit union member in Barbados.

  26. @Green Tea at June 13, 2011 at 9:53 AM |

    u couldn’t wait for someone to highlight ur jealously over Caswell, to spew out that rubbish? ur ranting and raving shows all the elements of what? not jealously? lol i have always and would always admire Caswell. i find his comments absolutely thought provoking. if he was all u attempted to imply, why would he use his name?hmmm. it takes an honest, mature and intelligent adult to put himself out there to be slaughtered. i am glad for his info.

  27. Sorry, I meant the 2011 financials.

    I will try to get a copy of the report and calculate the ratios based on my understanding of them, and we can go from there.

  28. @Smooth Chocolate
    I will not respond to your comments. I fully understand the way you feel and one day you will realise what I’m saying. Hitler had the same approach as Caswell. He would want to take full credit for everything he did. Do you think he would have denied Auschwitz and the atrocities against the Jews? No! He thought he was right. The whole world knew he was wrong but in his eyes he was right. So it is with Herr Franklyn.

  29. @DLP and its yardfowls
    May I remind you of your contract with the electorate, as promised in the 2008 manifesto “Pathways to Progress”
    “The DLP administration’s attitude to accountability will be based on the understanding that as servants and representatives of the people there can be no secrets or matters to be hidden from the population.
    Consequently, a DLP administration will be accountable for its actions and policies
    and take the public into its confidence.
    Under a DLP government, the people will be kept informed of what the government is doing on their behalf through:
    • Regular press briefings following meetings of the Cabinet of Barbados
    • Press briefings by Ministries/Departments
    to inform Barbadians of major developments and changes
    • The publication of details of agreements
    and contracts involving the government
    and its agencies
    • Formal Ministerial statements at regular
    intervals on the progress of ongoing programmes and projects
    • A revision of and adherence to the rules
    regarding Parliamentary questions

     Immediately introduce integrity legislation requiring
    • a declaration of assets by public officials,
    • a Code of Conduct for Ministers,
    • a new Freedom of Information law,
    • amendments to the Defamation laws and
    • new constitutional provisions to rationalise the powers of the Prime Minister.

    Barbadians have suffered enough. We must march on to the Better Barbados of which we have dreamt and for which we have prayed and toiled.
    On 15th January 2008, you will be asked to make one of the most important decisions in your life.
    You will have a choice between progress and regression. Even if you are among the elite few who could benefit from another term of BLP rule, think of your children and your children’s children.”
    sic joke (pun intended)

    Reading it now is an object lesson in underperformance, if not gross deceit.

    DLP – You had the mandate for change, and many of the changes needed no capital expenditure,indeed they would have saved money.

    The people demanded the change of mindset you offered, and so naturally they are disillusioned with the whole political set-up because of your non-deliverance.
    There can be no excuses of global recession in many of these cases, in fact the reduced income necessitated these welcome changes, but no political expedience trumped the democratic will.

    Personally, I recognise the difficulties of politicians producing their family’s balance sheet to an independent authority, but what is holding up the FOI Act or the appointment of a Contractor General overseeing all major government contracts, after everything we have experienced you cannot deny the public’s genuine cynicism – if you do it will bite you hard next time round.

    Give us the change you promised, or step down.

  30. Bro Franklin why did I nudge you awake. It seems that Green Envious Giant was lurking in the shadows waiting for you to arise from your slumber. But his submissions and venom seems to me as one of the board members whose toes we’ve squeezed too hard. SORRY Envious Giant. But after all knowledge is power and I trust that the members on saturday will refuse to accept cold soup all warmed over. Writing under correction Green giant what about classes/courses on co operatives so that the ignorant maybe tooled to interchanged with the “perceived owners/stake holders” that have played musical chairs for the last 15 years. Instead of going after the man try and correct, pull back the anomalies. Empower the members.

  31. In the above submission I Wrote “writing under correction” as my assumption of you being a member of the board or of one of the committees could be wrong

  32. @Delight
    I am a member – am not and have never served on the Board or any elected committee or any other committee for that matter. I do attend the league courses from time to time, have substantial deposits and loan business with the credit union. I am also like many of you very unhappy with many of the issues as raised BUT I want answers not conflict and unrest.

  33. And furthermore Bro Franklin has been so open after being nudged to explain his maneuvers concerning the employment of Clorinda Alleyne. He came clean why don’t/can’t the others stop hiding behind pseudonym and come clean.

  34. @Delight
    For further clarification. I attend meetings fairly regularly and have voted for some of these directors because it seemed like they were doing well and had something to offer to the credit union. The Annual meeting is however a most important aspect of any organisation. Everybody has a role to play. I’m just saying mine will be to ask tough searching questions BUT I will not be doing anything to disrupt the confidence that is placed in the organisation by 50 thousand bajans. That’s all I’m saying. To have an annual meeting where the board is placed under scrutiny is one thing but to not have an annual meeting or to not have it within these same legal framework which everyone alludes to is something entirely different. We can signal to the board to have supper ready for us as members because we ain’t going home until we get answers but to disrupt the meeting is muddy gutter behaviour to which I will not sink. That’s all I’m saying.

  35. In terms of training for credit union members – this is done by the league. This story is about the last graduation. It is usually a nice affair and a good way to meet other credit union members especially from other credit unions.

    This is a list of the courses. Once you are a member of a credit union you can attend free of charge. These courses as I understand it are paid for by all the credit unions based on their size.

    A number of the tutors are well-known members of BPW, COB, Teachers, Police and other credit unions. Pearson Bellamy for example conducted one I attended sometime ago. Keith Bourne I think does some of the courses too.

  36. I too have been listening in to this blog from a distance and this Green Giant man making a lot of sense.

    • It is generally known that a select few (members) actively participate in AGMs in Barbados.

      Those few members who usually participate would have taken the time to aquaint themselves with the rules/by-laws of the credit union and are therfore very comfortable in the ‘meeting’ environment which goes along with these formal meetings.

      The other issue is that not many, unless trained, feel comfortable speaking to financial issues, intepreting balance sheets etc.

      It will therefore be important that those members who have concerns familiarize themselves with the procedures under which these meetings are govern.

      The time has come for Bajans to put that free education to work and more importantly exercise their right as a credit union member.

  37. For years Public Workers contributed to the league but sent no one to the training sessions. The league has been complaining over that period, but Public Workers’ board chose to keep its members in ignorance. It was Pearson Bellamy who complained at a general meeting that he does training for the league but he does not see any members from our credit union at that training. The programme for training by the league was circulated to credit unions but Public Workers’ board would never inform its members until Bellamy’s intervention.

    People are using this blog to peddle half truths. Public Workers had a person on staff to do training but would not put money in the budget for him to do any training.

  38. I am still not convinced —remedial classes or not
    try to insult me all you can
    thats the best tthing you all people can do
    that is what you have learnt at certain schools in barbados
    how to bully an insult people
    bullying at schools aint now start

  39. @Tina Roach

    I believe that you should stay out our busiess as you have nothing to add to the debate. it has nothing to do with bullying, but protecting our invsetment> Are you a member.

    @Green Giant

    I sitting naer to you. We aint going home until we have our questions answered. The Chairman must respect that we have a right to ask questions anad receive answers. I hope the directors are reading this blog, becasue they should come armed with the information, such as the salaries and allowance paid to top level staff, the policy on entertainment and who is entilted to it, and where was the authority given to purchsae clico’s morgtgae portfollio, and which directors have companies that do business with the union if any etc

  40. @Green Giant | June 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM |

    this is a surprise to me, i have never any kind of invitation to do any kind of course with the credit union. i would think that info would be coming to the various depts in government so the public workers would be aware. i see all kinds of items displayed at the public workers offices but i have NEVER seen any on training courses etc

  41. I think that is another good point. The board should be told to instruct its marketing department or that Reps Association to get posters about the League training into the Government Departments and onto its web-site, notice-boards etc.

    When I do the training I do see a lot of members from Public Workers. I don’t see like the board members. I do see staff from time to time but I am not sure how the regular members had found out about it.

    As far as I understand BPW pays like 60 thousand for this training. I wouldn’t tell no lie, it is be good. They have nice coffee breaks and lunch and the training is good. They have some new on-line classes too but I am not sure if those are only for staff.

    Another thing. I was talking to Bourney who retired last year and BPW doing some project paying him to help out the other credit unions. From what he was telling me he goes to the small credit unions and helps them with planning and that sort of thing. So the people at BPW trying so when they come up short we just gotta get in there and put them back on the straight and narrow. Yuh could check Keith – I know he say he supposed to get an office at Belmont so when you getting the financials check and see if he around. You know you get it straight from Mr. Credit Union!!


  43. Was leafing through COB’s financials from last year and they mention their investment in Cooperators General Insurance as an associated compaby. The BPW Board needs to tell the members what its investment in Cooperators General is and since it has a seat on the board WHY it is not accounted for as an associated company?? That might have boosted the overall income by some figure as it did for COB last year. The Board needs to have an answer for this question!! Who represents the BPW Credit Union on this Board??

  44. David whenever I write on your blog, I try my best to be factual. I do not hide behind a nom de plume, so I cannot afford to damage my credibility by attempting to mislead. Unfortunately, that is not the case with many of your contributors.
    Yesterday, someone was bold enough to claim that Public Workers Credit Union was complying with the PEARLS standards established for credit unions by the World Council of Credit Unions.
    You suggested that someone could do the analysis and post it on BU. I decided to take up the challenge. I went to the credit union and collected a copy of the financials. Unfortunately, the document that is being circulated to members is not the financial statements of the Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Limited. The statements are consolidated financials for the credit union, BPW Financial Holdings Inc and Capita Financial Services Inc. In any event, even if the financials were the correct ones, they are not presented in a form that would allow you to apply the PEARLS ratios. For example, nowhere in the statements could I find the figure for delinquency greater than 12 months. That is a key ratio in PEARLS.

    The board needs to separate the financials of the credit union from the other two companies and publish those financials not less than 10 days before the annual meeting, in accordance with section 111 of the Co-operative Societies Act, Chapter 378A of the laws of Barbados. Since the financial statements for the credit union were not published in accordance with section 111, the meeting cannot legally poceed on Saturday.

    • @Caswell

      The board needs to separate the financials of the credit union from the other two companies and publish those financials not less than 10 days before the annual meeting, in accordance with section 111 of the Co-operative Societies Act, Chapter 378A of the laws of Barbados. Since the financial statements for the credit union were not published in accordance with section 111, the meeting cannot legally poceed on Saturday.

      For the benefit of all can you cite the exact rule which supports your position quoted above?

  45. David
    I am not sure what you mean: I hope the exerpt from the Co-operative Societies Act will suffice:

    109. (1) The directors of a society must place before the annual
    members at every annual meeting of members of the society:
    (a) comparative financial statements, as prescribed, relating
    separately to
    (i) the period that began on the date the society came
    into existence and ended not more than 12 months
    after that date, or, if the society has completed a
    financial year, the period that began immediately
    after the end of the last period for which financial
    statements were prepared and ended not more than
    12 months after the beginning of that period, and
    (ii) the immediately preceding financial year;
    (b) the report of the auditor; and
    (c) any further information respecting the financial position of
    the society and the results of its operations required by the
    (2) The financial statements mentioned in sub-paragraph (ii)
    of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) may be omitted if the reason for
    the omission is set out in the financial statement to be placed
    before the members or in a note attached thereto.
    110. (1) The directors of a society must approve the financial statements referred to in section 109, and the approval must be evidenced by the signature of 2 or more directors. .
    (2) A society shall not issue, publish or circulate copies of the
    financial statements referred to in section 109 unless the financial
    statements are
    (a) aproved and signed in accordance with subsection (l),
    (b) accompanied by a report of the auditor, if any, of the
    111. (1) Not less than 10 days before each annual meeting of
    members, a society must make available to each member a copy
    of the financial statements and report of the auditor referred to in
    section 109.
    (2) Where a society applies to the Registrar and he is satisfied
    that there are reasonable grounds, he may excuse the society from
    complying with subsection (1).

  46. @David
    I am no expert on these matters but COB has been issuing these consolidated statements for years. There is an International Accounting Standard (IAS 27) which deals with such matters. Someone who knows more than me can jump in here but Herr Franklyn should be very specific – these hairy-fairy half-truths are not good enough. He needs to recognise when he’s in over his head and learn how to call for a life-guard.

  47. Green Giant
    You love resorting to international accounting standards in order to fool the masses who attend general meetings. You know that they would prefer to sit silently rather than speak up and allow others to see that they really don’t understand. You should read the entire IAS 27. We had the same problem with IAS 32 but because you did not read the standard all the way through credit unions had to change their accounting system.
    That said, please explain how you can mix the accounts for the different types of entities. Credit unions are not subject to pay corporation tax, but limited liability companies must pay. When you present consolidated accounts how can the average member know what is really happening at either of those entities.

    From my limited knowledge of accounts, it would appear that the credit union purchased a lot of bad debt when it purchased Clico Mortgage Finance Co. at least that is what it appears like to someone that is over his head.

  48. How does one become a CEO of a financial organization without a financial degree? Without any Masters degree? With simply a GRADUATE DIPLOMA from CUNA? Ms. Alleyne is a ‘graduate University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and the Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad’. Does she atleast possess First Class Honours? Second? Or did she simply just acquire a Pass? The more important question is…how does one with such mediocre qualification land such a senior level position at an organization? Who is accountable? What was their rationale?
    If the credit union is a microcosm of wider Bajan society then one begs to ask the question…..Are we happy with where we are heading?

  49. @Caswell,

    Do you still maintain that the credit union is in breach of the Act in publishing only the consolidated financial statements? The extract from the Act that you reproduced does not seem to conclusively resolve the matter. I am of course speaking from a position of ignorance, as you pointed out.

    Could you explain what Green Giant would have learnt if he/she had read all of IAS 27?

    You also asked Green Giant to explain how you can mix the accounts of different types of entities. Doesn’t IAS 27 answer this question?

    I would argue though that the average credit union member is not going to understand the accounts, whether they are consolidated or not. This is why management should include the PEARLS ratios in the annual report, along with other information that fully explains to members what is going on.

  50. Brutus, you’re perfectly correct. I know my limitations and I will not be reading or cutting and pasting IAS 27 for the blog. The standard that is recognised around the world is an audit. The audit is conducted on the basis of all these international Accounting Standards. If as is the case of the BPWCCUL audit, it is unqualified then I will not be trying to bring a reputable big-4 accounting firm into disrepute by suggesting that they don’t know what they are doing.

    I stood by and watched Herr Caswell scream that the credit unions should not adopt IAS 32, and as a result at least in part, of his lobby, the credit union received a qualified audit report for a few years until the board finally cast off his bogey and went ahead and implemented that standard.

    @Caswell – The accounts are not mixed. This is not cool-aid. Both organisations would have cash in bank accounts somewhere – thus the total amount of cash in all these accounts surely would be the consolidated cash position. Same thing for loans in the various categories. Mortgages, secured, unsecured. This is probably over-simplified for the benefit of simple minds but I’m sure even you will get the point.

    At Auschwitz your heroes killed Jews, Gypsies, the Polish, Romanians, they really were not very selective about those who were not Aryan.

    I think you will find that the practice of accounting and the overall management of any institution is far less bloody, draconian and dramatic.

    We have watched you for years turning the simple tasks of running an institution into a bloodsport with the trail of corpses giving you a peculiar high. One of the best things that happened was the day I heard they had kicked you out. face it Caswell if there was even a shred of legal reason for you to become re-instated you would have put the credit union in Court. Oh no – you got outplayed because in your arrogance you forgot – you’re not a lawyer. Should not have taken your own advice fella.

    Folks – I still hope everyone will be making the effort to attend the meeting. Come armed with your questions. Many of them have been raised here and therefore you should either print the blog or make your notes so we can have a systematic approach to the asking of questions and it is not just people like myself and Bellamy asking the questions and coming across as if we have some hidden agenda.

  51. It is simply disheartening that as a university graduate from Barbados with a Masters degree from a highly respectable university that I find myself unable to find employment while others who possess less qualifications hold the highest positions of organization due to befriending those in power. I know that such occurrences occur throughout the world however Barbados is losing out on some of its brightest and gifted individuals due to the HIGH level of nepotism on the island. Where are the inspirational words of those of the late Errol Barrow? The pride he had in his country? Gone are the days where hard work and dedication manifested into jus rewards. As much as I love my country I see no future for myself here and this is the view of many qualified graduates. I hope that we wake up and recognize the diservice we are doing not only to this organization but to the nation as a whole by becoming complacent and not speaking up on matters of importance.

  52. @Karl Marx – My heart goes out to you. I’m here trying to figure out how can assist. I think one of the problems in Barbados is that as things have worsened, it has become increasingly difficult for those who should retire to do so, so they continue to work and make it increasingly difficult for persons like yourself. Having said that it is also true that a company just needs to get the work done effectively and essentially as cheaply as possible. Persons with higher degrees do expect to be compensated for these degrees because that’s how the Public sector tended to work. It is however not an argument that holds true today in either sector.

    Labour is a market and you need to have the qualifications and some might argue the experience to meet the needs of the market at that moment in time when you are entering the market.

    This is a really bad time in the economy and even though I feel your pain I think anyone entering the market in today’s economic conditions will find it very difficult. You may find it helpful to do some networking. If you are a member – why not come out to the BPWCCUL meeting. Meet some people, introduce yourself to the CEO and others. Give it a shot as you certainly have nothing to lose and someone may be able to give you a lead.

    I certainly wish you well and hope that things work out for you. I always say to people that your network is one of your most important assets. So spend the time building your network – you’d be amazed what happens when you have a network working for you.

  53. Green Giant
    Since you were part of the mess that is now the Public Workers Group maybe you can explain:
    I. Why the credit union paid $2,910,000 for the goodwill in Clico Mortgage Finance Co.;(page 34 of Public Workers’ statements)
    2. How is it that there was only a provision for impaired loans of $619,016 in the acquisition of CMFC and impaired loans could move from $50 million in 2010 to $104 million in 2011. (page 45 of Public Workers statements)

    You must be aware by now that there was no requirement to implement IAS 32 until the credit union pursuaded Government to change the law. If you and others who were pushing for the implementation of IAS 32 had read the entire standard you would have noticed at the end that it said, you should not implement the standard if national law said otherwise. Before implementation our law said otherwise but we foolishly petitioned the Government to change our law to comform to IAS 32 to the detriment of all credit union members who would have gotten a fairly decent dividend.
    Prior to the change members received dividends on their savings which were classified as shares. There was therefore no requirement to pay income tax on the dividends. Now since the focus is on interest, members are now required by law to pay income tax on the interest, thanks to you and the other bright accountants.

    Additionally, since you are so smart can you explain why the major credit unions have differing interpretations for IAS 32 as it relates to shares. If you have any doubt read note 16 of COB’s financial statements.

  54. Wait Caswell, you ignoring me now? You like you throwing out nuff things hoping that something will stick.

    Pardon my ignorance, but did the World Council of Credit Unions not endorse IAS 32? I searched the net for it Caswell! You want the link?

    There was no requirement to implement IAS 32 until govt changed the law to conform to IAS 32? Caswell, that ain’t mekking sense! If credit unions present their statements under IAS then they would have to comply with IAS 32. This is separate from any change in the law. You might be on to something though, but you confusing yourself I think (in my ignorance).

    Caswell, what are the differing interpretations the major credit unions have of IAS 32 as it relates to shares? You throwing out charges without any support, or you trying to figure it out and hoping that Green Giant will give you the answer?

  55. Caswell – you asked two good questions above though. The one about the goodwill is a good one which somebody should ask at the meeting. Somebody should ask if the credit union obtained an independent, professional valuation of the mortgage company and if this established the price paid.

  56. Caswell – I leave you in the capable hands of Brutus.

    As Brutus said: “A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March (or June in this case!!)”.

    You just don’t know when you’ve lost and it’s time to fold. The issues you raise are precisely why you are at the periphery of the CU movement. You heve to know when to take professional advice.

    @Brutus – Those are questions that can and should be asked. I hope answers are forthcoming.

    • @Green Giant

      Would you like to think that the leadership of BPW credit union is in the know about this blog and would be disposed to sincerely addressing key concerns raised?

  57. @Caswel

    Are acconting standards mandatory or guidelines?


    All along i was suspicious of your attcaking caswell, but i was gien you the benefit of the doubt, but now I like i believe what caswell said that you were apart of the mess.

    I waiting to see if we the members got balls, Since you were a part of the mess you will not be of any assistance to us.

  58. @karlmarx

    Sometimes you have to take what job is available to get the working experience and a start.. sometimes graduates expect to be paid for their masters and there are few jobs in the public sector that require a masters, unless it is a speciality area.

    Lets face it, networking is a part of the sytem the world over, especially in the private sector. When i got my job in the private it was a family friend who alerted me about the vacancy. There rere is somthing that is called self-emplyment and you should explore that avenue, while you search for a job(the owner of surfside is trained in engineering, he could not find a job in his field from what i was told at the time and now he has a thriving business}. You should communicate with the youth enterpreneurship section of the Ministry of Family and Youth Affairs and see how they can assist. .

  59. @Caswell

    THERE is something i dont understand, some years ago, while studying financia accounting i read some where that subsidiaries are required to produce separte accounts and then they are consolidated into to the accounts of the group. By preapring the separte accounts you woulod be able to determine the viablity of a particular subsidairy and its worth if it has to be sold.

    I would there fore expect a similar approach with the credit union.

    I shall make it my business to get a copy of the accounts tomorrow.

    Of all the persons blogging i trust caswell’s sincerity. I will admit that sometimes he need to know when to backoff, but then again, Green Giant you have taken a similar approach to caswell on this matter. He that is without sin let him cast the first stone.

    @Green Giant

    I have not learnt anything from you, your modus operandi was to attack caswell from the start. I know caswell can hold his own anywhere and anypplace.

  60. @tina

    you sound like a little child craving attention, so you have it from me.

    hope you are satisfied.

  61. Brutus
    Re: Your comment dated June 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Sorry, I was not ignoring you: I had a lot on my plate over the last two days, and I was therefore unable to give priority to you.
    Again, I am sorry if you went away with the impression that I was throwing out lots of things hoping that some will stick. I would not do that! There are lots of things that have been brought to my attention, and even though I believe them: I refused to throw them out because I was not absolutely certain of the veracity. To give an example: since last year I was told that at least one person , who was delinquent in repaying his loan was allowed to run for office and I was also told that the Supervisory Committee did nothing about it. I was only given proof today. So you see, I kept that information for almost a year but now I have something that would stick.

    Brutus, I don’t know if I made myself clear with respect to IAS 32.

    After years of opposition, the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) finally accepted that IAS 32 was not in conflict with co-operative principles. However, WOCCU is not a regulatory body and therefore their recommendations are not binding on credit unions.

    IAS 32 required that members’ shares be classified a liabilities on the balance sheet. This was not the case in Barbados from inception of the credit-union movement. IAS 32 allowed for an exception where national law differed from that standard.

    Credit unions could have continued to present their accounts as they did from inception, but as a result of an amendment to the Co-operatice Socities Act in 2007, they are now required to classify members’ deposits as liabilities. Everyone in Public Workers is required to have 24 shares valued at $120. That is the reason why I stated that major credit unions have differing interpretations of IAS 32. I will give you some homework, read note 16 of COB’s financial statements.

    Finally, Green Lilliputian, oops I mean giant, have finally taken flight after I pointed out that the credit union paid $2.9 million for the goodwill in Clico Mortgage Finance Company. Since he was part of the acquisition team he does not want to explain why they threw the members’ money into maxwell pond.

    These matters are over my head but I would also like green thing to explain why the provision for impaired/bad loans for CMCF was only $619,000 but when the two business are combined the figure for inpaired loans jumped from $50 m in 2010 to $104 m in 2011.

  62. Caswell,

    Unfortunately I was not able to get a copy of the BPWCUL annual report, as they were only distributing the supplementary information when I visited. Is there any reason why the annual report could not be posted online before the AGM – or does it have to be presented to members first? I think it would also have been appropriate to post the separate financial statements of the credit union itself online (ie. excluding the subsidiaries) and make some copies available for members.

    The supplementary information includes minutes and committee reports and based on these it seems that there is not a lot of probing of what is presented to members. Actually the AGM may not be this best place for this probing because of time constraints and because most members will be too intimidated to ask follow up questions. Perhaps the credit union needs to have more informational sessions where members can interact with the Board and committees in a more casual setting.

    I am sympathetic to your point about IAS 32 because as is suggested by note 16 of the City of Bridgetown financials, there should have been no need to change the Act because of anything in IAS 32. As stated there “the change in classification does not affect the rights and obligations of the members as set out in the Act or the Credit Union’s by-laws”. However the only way national law could provide an exception to IAS 32 is if something in the law provided that the members shares could not be withdrawn on demand. Was that the case?

    I don’t have the amended wording of the Act – would you mind posting the language so we can explore it for the benefit of credit union members?

    • Why would our respected local credit unionists agree to the reporting of shares as a liability if not required from a regulatory position to do so?

      One would have to imagine that BPW and COB would have led the charge given their muscle in the movement?

      What was the logic that drove their acquiescence?

  63. Caswell – are the minutes of the meetings of the Supervisory Committee open for inspection by members? Perhaps there should be a requirement for the Supervisory Committee to report to members all matters that were brought to its attention during the year and state what action (if any) was taken. Such a report does not need to name individuals or disclose confidential information.

  64. David
    You asked, “Why would our respected local credit unionists agree to the reporting of shares as a liability if not required from a regulatory position to do so?

    Respected does not equal knowledgeable. We had a take over of the credit union movement by some young turks that did not know or understand the nature of a co-operative and started to operate the credit unions as though they were for profit organizations. Co-operatives/credit unions are organizations designed with the objective of people helping people. You used your resourses to help each other. The credit unions were not designed for investment purposes that is why the law limits the maximum return on deposits.

    Credit unions are not supposed to be about profit first, as a matter of fact the people that should receive the most benefit should be the people that use the services of the co-operative most. That is why there is no limit on the amount of patronage refund that members could receive.. All of these lofty principles have been ignored by the young turks without the required co-operative grounding. Credit unions now bear little resemblance to what a credit union should look like and look more like uncaring banks.

    The changes came about because some people were doing too much flying around the globe, ostensibly on credit-union business, going to international seminars and coming back to implement some of the things that they heard but not fully understood. They were able to come back and approach their friends in Government who legislated the changes without understanding the harm that they were inflicting on the movement.

    When the savings were classified as shares, members receive a dividend that was not taxible. With the changes, members are now paid interest that is subject to a 12.5% withholding tax. Thanks to those clowns!

    • @Caswell

      When the savings were classified as shares, members receive a dividend that was not taxible. With the changes, members are now paid interest that is subject to a 12.5% withholding tax. Thanks to those clowns!

      To clarify the 12.5% is only applicable on interest earned greater than $100.00.

    • @Brutus
      Understand the point that credit union shares can be compared to deposits in a bank therefore a liability but why was it optional as Caswell has stated?

  65. @Caswell Franklyn | June 16, 2011 at 5:30 PM |

    how could provision for impaired/bad loans for CMCF jumped from $619,000 when the two business were combined to $50m in 2010 then to $104 m in 2011? this is utter madness!!! i have given serious thought to these revelations. one of my work colleagues withdrew all her savings last week. i have decided to do same. i am attending the meeting only to see if certain issues will be clarified…i doubt it. i know in these settings members will be intimidated, so whatever reason they give or don’t give is irrelevant to me, i will withdraw my membership. if they are offering nothing more than the bank and stealing funds while at it, then i don’t have to be committed to them at all. it’s my money. i am greatly disillusioned with the Credit union. I joined so that i my finances could be better and i felt proud to be part of something created for the poor and not so poor. i’m done with them

  66. David – the shares are reported as a liability where the members can come and withdraw their money at any time. From that point of view they are the same as deposits. This is by definition a liability, not equity.

    Despite what Caswell says, credit unions (especially large ones) are financial institutions and have to be operated like financial institutions. Check out the PEARLS ratios for evidence of this. The failure of a big credit union in Barbados could set the credit union movement back several years, or even destroy it.

  67. Brutus
    There is absolutely no reason why the annual report should not be in the hands of members. It is difficult to peruse a document while the meeting is ongoing. That probably suits the boards that do not want to be challenged.

    Prior to there changes, By-law 23 restricted members from withdrawing their shares on demand.

    According to By-law 81 all the records of the credit union, except members personal financial business, shall be open to the inspection of any member or person having an interest in the funds of the Society. Unfortunately, the board restricts information from members and have been supported in their position by a legal opinion from an actuary.

    • @Caswell

      If PEARLS is not mandatory what are the ratios/indices the Registrar would have used to regulate credit unions.

  68. The comment at 8:59 pm by smooth chocolate demonstrates why the accounting standard says to treat certain shares as deposits. A member can get vex and done with that and come for his/her shares. You can’t do that with the typical shares in a company – the company has the right to refuse to pay you for your shares.

    Smooth chocolate – I don’t think that Caswell said the provision for impaired loans jumped to $104m in 2011. The total impaired loans increased, according to Caswell, but I don’t think we need any explanation for this other than the existing economic conditions. Caswell is implying that the credit union bought a lot of impaired loans when they acquired Clico Mortgage but I think he is just fishing.

  69. Brutus
    Pearls ratios are NOT mandatory. Public Workers ignore the one dealing with writing off doubtful loans. If they complied the profit/surplus of the credit union would be greatly reduced.

  70. Brutus
    Your comment at 9:31 completely ignored mine at 9:24: I hope that you did not see it before you posted your comment.

    I was in the credit union long enough to assure you that in difficult times, the board did not allow members to withdraw their shares, even if they got vex and done with that.

    The people who introduced these changes were not familiar with the by-law.

  71. @Brutus | June 16, 2011 at 9:31 PM |

    “…You can’t do that with the typical shares in a company – the company has the right to refuse to pay you for your shares.:.” but it’s not a company, it’s a credit union that have lost sight of what a credit union is all about, so yes ‘i vex and done wid that’ and will take my shares. it’s my money., i will not be supporting thieves if evidence is pointing in that direction.

    “I don’t think that Caswell said the provision for impaired loans jumped to $104m in 2011. The total impaired loans increased” … i understood what Caswell was saying but i was thinking that maybe impaired loans of the CMF was somehow ‘hidden’ when PW took over the company…i’m speaking from a layman’s perspective. i know how accounting figures could be manipulated… aside from that, i have decided to withdraw membership

  72. Caswell – no I hadn’t seen your comment when I posted mine at 9:31.

    You really need to explain the conditions under which the Board could refuse to allow members to withdraw shares – both before and after the change in by-law 23. Could the withdrawal request be refused indefinitely?

  73. @Caswell

    I think you have handled yourself well. You have re-socilaise me about the BPWCCUL. A lot of these young punk who have no interest in the union came around and because of their fancy voices were elected to an insitution of which they had no interest, except for selfish pursuits. Thank God I have never voted for some them, i mean people like the sthill, the maxwell etc

    If the get me vex i gun use a bonny peppa on them.

    As for that green giant, which you have cut down to amidget, you are a fraud. You think some of us foolish and dont understan fincncial accounting, but i am one that do even though i did not get into the debate of ratios as i know caswelll can wunnah. You dont have to like him.

    • @Caswell

      Regarding the CMFC bad debt matter you raised. Are you saying the credit union would have bought a pig in a poke?

      Isn’t it the drill to inspect the books of the company being purchased and net off what maybe agreed as toxic assets?

      What evidence do you have that this was not done?

      Also this was a mortgage company and would likely have the deeds to properties held as security? So many questions.

  74. David
    You started by asking,
    “Regarding the CMFC bad debt matter you raised. Are you saying the credit union would have bought a pig in a poke?

    That is exactly what it looks like to me, or rather that is how the group consolidated financials make it appear. At note 16 the report states:
    “At the date of acquisition, the provision for impaired loans amounted to $691,016
    Now turn to page 45, you will see that impaired loans jumped from $50 million in 2010 to $104 million in 2011. Where did these impaired loans come from if not from CMCF’s balance sheet.

    There was absolutely no good reason why the credit union should have purchased CMCF. The credit union already has a mortgage division which was short of cash in 2010 to disburse loans that were already approved, if memory serves me correctly, there was a figure of $33 million for loans approved but not disbursed. Rather than borrow money to satisfy the members’ needs, the credit union borrowed money to buy a cash-strapped mortgage company from CLICO. A company which now competes with the credit union for business. That acquisition does not make sense.

    The National Insurance Board rejected the credit union’s application for the loan to purchase CMCF, Prime Minister Thompson intervened and the board changed its decision.

    I am firmly of the view that the acquisition of CMCF had more to do with bailing out CLICO and finding employment for someone that was unemployed for five years, who happened to be part of the acquisition team than anything to do with the best interest of the credit union.

    You also asked:
    “Also this was a mortgage company and would likely have the deeds to properties held as security?’

    You must also remember that this was also CLICO.

    Another point of concern to me is the fact that the board never approached a general meeting of members, with a resolution seeking permission to purchase CMCF. Even more troubling is the fact that the purchase would require approval from the Registrar of Co-operatives, who should have checked for such a resolution before her approval was given. HOW COULD SHE?

  75. @Caswell

    It might be useful for questions to be asked about the due diligence process BWP credit union engaged at the meeting tomorrow.

  76. David
    It would be useful if members passed a resolution ordering an investigation into the conduct of the board in this regard. But, I would not stop there, a forensic audit should also be ordered.

  77. David
    The forensic audit would clear up or otherwise any allegations of wrong doing. The board should welcome any such investigation if as they claim: they have done nothing wrong.

  78. Hmm, any idea how much forensic audits cost nowadays?

    Caswell, why don’t you believe that the credit union alone could be responsible for the increase in the impaired loans?

    Also, was there any legal requirement for the acquisition of Clico Mortgage to have been approved by a resolution of members?

  79. @Caswell or David

    If an auditor expressed an unqulified on the 2010 statements what is he saying, my brain is hazy on this, i am here reading the 2011 statements

  80. This was a very good meeting. The members were kept well informed by the Directors. The Directors have a fantastic strategic vision for Capita, which will see it become a bank, which is owned by all of the credit unions. As I think it will play out, BPWCCUL will sell an interest in Capita to the other credit unions at a price that BPWCCUL will realize, we hope material, gains on the initial investment, which will ultimately be distributed to the members. We are about to move away from the simple savings and loans business to the sophisticated business of banking. We are going to be wealthy.

  81. 5:30PM, December 12, 2011, to consider non-consolidated financial statements for year ended March 31, 2011

    • At the last BWUCCU AGM members requested specifics on the balance sheet and how it should be presented Capita etc. This meeting is probably a follow through to that request.

    • We know that until his appointment to the FSC Jeff Cumberbatch was an active contributor to BU, no doubts he still reads, even though he probably believes protocol does not permit him to contribute to this forum. We wish him all the best of course.

  82. Brutus, Green Giant et al

    I hate to tell you that I told you so, but I did. Go back and read my comments from June 15 where I argued that the credit union was required to produce separate accounts for the credit union and Capita. They have now been ordered by the Financial Services Commission to do just that after a member complained.

    It does not make me feel any better that I have proven to be correct: the credit union is still being mismanaged for the benefit of a few. They even refuse to report embezzlements to the Police as required by the Law and the organization’ own policy.

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