On The Ides Of March – BPWCCUL Has 14 Days To Respond!

Terrol Inniss, President of BPWCCUL

The last blog posted regarding BPWCCUL has resulted in the wrongful dismissal of several workers including a very hard-working and honest Finance Manager, the continued harassment of an equally honest and sincere Internal Auditor and a professional and competent IT Manager. It has also triggered the running of two Directors who I’m glad to see the back of and the resignation of the Chairman of the Supervisory Committee. We only hope the Financial Services Commission is taking note.

As a pre-cursor to the Annual General Meeting it is essential to fully ventilate the issues and therefore we shall be posting on a regular basis to try to make sure that what has happened at CLICO does not happen here. In this situation more than fifty-thousand Barbadians would be affected.

This first post is a friendly game of 20 questions but if the Board is not forthright with members then it will be escalated with severely damaging information. Nothing short of the stepping down of the BPWCCUL President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Director Marilyn Mapp, Director Keiva Cadogan, the CEO, CAPITA’s Chairman, Deputy Chairman and CEO will avert this course of action.

These issues have not been raised officially with the Supervisory Committee because that has proven to be 100% ineffective and impotent. Remember, money talks and once Supervisory Committee members are offered trips to attend meetings across the Globe, they forget their duty and chase after a Board position.

So the 20 questions:

1. Who is the individual or firm that was paid nearly half a million dollars in fees to provide services during the Credit Union’s acquisition of CLICO Mortgage and Finance Corporation? Why was there no contract and no Board approval or knowledge of the transaction and what is the relationship between this individual and the CAPITA CEO? Was this relationship declared to the Board in accordance with the Act? Was this the single-largest fee during the acquisition? Is it true that neither the legal fees nor the due diligence attracted fees this high? What services could have cost so much? And were there any BPWCCUL Directors who benefited financially from this transaction?

2. What is the special relationship between Bay and Wellington and BPWCCUL? Who are its Directors and beneficial owners? Is the provision of corporate event management services tendered in a way that allows other members with similar firms the opportunity to submit a competitive bid? What is the value of these services provided to the Credit Union? Is it really over $740K? Can these services be provided more competitively elsewhere? Who are the Directors who benefit financially from such contracts? What is the annual total of corporate gifts made by Bay and Wellington to BPWCCUL Directors and Management?

3. Is Director Marilyn Mapp a resident of Barbados? What percentage of Board meetings has she attended? Of these she “attended” was she physically present? Do the rules of the Credit Union allow for Directors to attend meetings using electronic methods? If not, why is the Secretary and President signing Board Minutes which say Mrs. Mapp is present when they are fully aware that under the existing Corporate Governance framework there is no provision for electronic meetings? Are other Directors aware of this aspect of the Society’s by-laws? If they are, are they equally aware of the implications of falsifying Board Minutes?

4. Who is the “Parris – wannabee” within the Credit Union structure? Is it true that this “Parris-wannabee” sits on 5 boards related to BPWCCUL? How much money has been spent on travel by this “Parris-wannabee”? As CEO? As Credit Union Director? As Director of Capita? As Director of Legacy Foundation? As Director of BPWCCUL’s Holding Company? As Director of the Barbados Cooperative Credit Union League? As Director of Cooperators Insurance? Is it true that Mr Parris-Wannabee only travels First Class and ensures he travels a minimum of 200 thousand frequent flyer miles annually? Why do some Directors travel exclusively First Class and others Economy? What is the policy? How many Corporate credit Cards does Mr. Parris Wannabee have assigned to him?

5. Who is the individual who, not being a Director or Manager was issued one of the Society’s Corporate Credit Cards which was used in a far-away land?

6. What is the special relationship between Tree House Media and Directors of BPWCCUL? Was this interest declared in the awarding of the various contracts? Is it true that these contracts for various (PR) services were in excess of $400 thousand over the period? Were these services put out to competitive bid? Who are the beneficial owners of Tree House Media? Are BPWCCUL Directors present or past associated with this company? Were there breaches of the Procurement policy?

7. When will the CAPITA CEO compensate the credit Union for the use of the Credit Union’s CEO vehicle for more than 36 months? During the period is it true that the current CEO was unemployed? Is it true that during the period he received over $150 thousand in per diems for travel that was not approved by the Credit Union Board? Another $50 thousand that was approved and that he benefited another $100k in free fuel, lunches, and dinner meetings unrelated to Credit Union business?

8. When will the CEO of the Credit Union compensate the Credit Union for allowing the vehicle assigned to her to be used by the current CAPITA CEO and incurring additional expenses to the credit union by employing a separate driver and vehicle? How much fuel was wrongfully charged to the Credit union during the period?

9. How is it that the current President of BPWCCUL travels on Credit Union business without such travel being approved by the Board? Are there other members of the Credit Union who, not being Directors nor Managers are allowed to travel on Credit Union business? What is the role of the CEO in this? On what authority does she process such transactions? Why are extracts of the requisite Board Minutes not required to authenticate such decisions? Is this part of the reason the Board agreed to terminate the services of the Finance Manager?

10. What is the relationship between the CEO’s of CAPITA and BPWCCUL? Between the CAPITA CEO and the BPWCCUL Marketing Officer? Between the CAPITA CEO and other BPWCCUL Staffers? Is the nature of these relationships declared to Directors? Are Directors aware that a person by the name of Pearson was asked to leave the Board because he had a relationship (husband) with a worker?

11. What influence was exerted by the BPWCCUL President to ensure that a blood relative would qualify for a loan? Was this relationship declared? And did The President utilise the Extra-ordinary Credit Committee to approve this loan according to the By-laws? Or was this loan simply approved as though no relationship existed? What role did the CEO play in this? How many aspects of the Credit Union’s policies were breached?

12. Why was the Credit Union Board summoned on three occasions to appear before the Financial Services Commission? What were the issues? Have these issues been addressed? What was the FSC’s position on the frauds that had been perpetrated against the Credit Union? Does the current board treat the FSC with the same disrespect that it treated the Registrar of Cooperatives? Have issues raised by the registrar been addressed? The Credit Card issues? Has the current CEO ever been appraised by the Board?

13. What is the relationship between the person formerly known as Edward Corbin and BPWCCUL? Has this contract been approved by the Board? Are fees approved by the Board? Are Directors aware of the existence of these contracts? Is it true that he has already worked out that the IT Manager, Internal Auditor, Finance Manager, Call Centre Manager, Collections officer and one position of Branch Manager will have to be terminated in aligning the staff to strategy? Was he associated as a hatchet-man for the BPWCCUL Board in the past? Is it also true that the CAPITA CEO writes papers for the BPWCCUL Board, signed by Mr. Corbin? Is it also true that this former Edward has been paid over $400 thousand over the last couple years?

14. Does the Board review each Director’s portfolio to ensure there are no inherent conflicts of interest? Is the Board comfortable with a regulator sitting as part of the Board? Was that regulator comfortable being hauled before another regulator? Were her bosses enthusiastic about their colleague, having to explain issues before the FSC? Will persons working for the FSC be allowed to sit on the Boards of Banks?

15. How was the CAPITA CEO selected? Was the position advertised? When? In which newspapers? Who were the other applicants? What were the specifications for the job? What independent firm was asked to provide these job specifications? Did CAPITA’s Board do all that reasonable persons would have done to ensure they got the best person for the job? What is the Corporate Governance Ethos that guides this company? Is it simply operating on the same principles that CLICO operated under? Is it a contracted position? How often are CEO appraisals planned? What is the political connection?

16. In the selection of the CAPITA Board were the best persons selected? Was the primary purpose of selecting the Board to do with how fast a specific new CEO could be appointed? Did that guide the election of the Board of BPWCCUL?

17. What are the current levels of related-party transactions between CAPITA and BPWCCUL? It is clear that this was one of the major CLICO issues, so what are the policies of the two entities to ensure that the level of such transactions are reasonable? Have there been breaches of either entity’s investment policies and if so when? And by how much? Was this a factor in the parting between the Finance Manager and the Credit union? Was the Finance Manager concerned about the concentration of Credit Union Deposits with CAPITA?

18. What is the nature of the relationship between CIBC First Caribbean and Directors or Past Directors of BPWCCUL?

19. Why does the Internal Auditor have to use lawyers during certain meetings at BPWCCUL? What are the specific areas of discrepancy which have been turning up, not being dealt with by Management but causing all the hype at Board Meetings? Is it true that The Marketing Officer is the most frequent flyer of the organization? How does that fit in with its strategy? How often has the Marketing Officer – soon to be Chief marketing Officer, travelled with the CAPITA CEO as a percentage of all travel? Is it not true that 100% of her travel has involved the CAPITA CEO? What was the nature of their Corporate business?

20. Did members authorize the establishment of “Legacy Foundation”? How does the BPWCCUL Board justify the Board appointments? How will this entity report to members and account for any money allocated to it? Who have been appointed auditors? What specific skills are brought to bear by the Directors: Dr. Reece (Credit Union Secretary), Paul Maxwell (frequent-flying CAPITA CEO and soon-to-be BPWCCUL CEO) and Tracia Pounder (frequent-flying soon-to-be Chief Marketing Officer)? What is the level of travel associated with this non-profit company? What is its budget? Why are there Trustees and a Board of Directors? What are the fees these Directors are paying themselves? What is this entire thing costing BPWCCUL? Can BPWCCUL contribute anymore to reinforcing inter-locking Directorships? Can we expect that Bay and Wellington will provide all the event planning, marketing, PR and branding services to this entity too?

The 21st question:

21. Are any of the issues raised in the last blog incorrect?? Why is the Board so concerned about “information leaks”? Are the Directors aware that if your hands are clean you have no problem when someone wants to inspect them? That whistle blowers only have an audience when wrong-doing is perceived as having been done?

0 thoughts on “On The Ides Of March – BPWCCUL Has 14 Days To Respond!

  1. well that does it…i’m done. i will do like my other colleagues when some of these issues came out l before the AGM 2011, they conceded that the Credit Union will become another CLICO and decided to borrow, more than what they have saved. their reasoning was that if those on the board are ‘thiefin’ left, right and centre and it looks as if all was lost – ‘well we will borrow dem out’, if the union sinks at least they would have more than what is owed to them

  2. @ Caswell;

    We await your informed comments and “insider’ understanding of what’s really is going on.

    Are we seeing a miniature CLICO in the making while the FSC turns a blind eye like the previous SoI and the CLICO Board of Directors over the years?

    The Credit Unions can only survive if members have utmost faith in the management of these cooperatives. Can any one say if this president Terrol Innis has any past associations with CLICO or with Leroy Parris?

    • In the wake of the CLICO matter (ongoing), it behooves the FSC to investigate what the hell is going on at the BPWCCUL asap.

  3. Miller

    I can confirm that a lot of the content on this particular post is absolutely true. Unfortunately, the situation at Public Workers will deteriorate because there is no desire on the part of anyone in power to rein in the massive corruption because they use the millions owned by members to assist Government’s programme. You should recall that the Arthur Administration used the credit union to purchase shares in ICB and BNB even though it was against the law as it stood then. For that the regulator turned a blind eye to massive wrongdoing. The Thompson Administration needed money to assist in the CLICO bailout and used the credit union to launder NIS money through the system, even paying $1.9 million as goodwill. Mind you, to this day the members have not given permission to purchase CLICO Mortgage Finance Company, as required by law, but the Registrar approved the purchase anyway. For that law enforcement is turning a blind eye to corruption.

    I believe that it will stop soon, not because of any intervention of the Financial Services Commission since they are seeing hell getting up to mark: the failure will come from collapse. There is too much nepotism, wuk for wuk, and stealing for it to last much longer.

  4. @Caswell

    Are you saying that nothing can be done to circumvent the BPWCCUL’s collapse?

    First CLICO now this? The collapse of this credit union will only hurt the poor black man. We are already struggling to survive.

    Remember: “A man who loses everything then has nothing to lose.”

    A lost in confidence of our very financial system will do us all harm in the long-run, it is unfortunate that the powers-that-be do not recognise this.

    Where are the Errol Barrow’s of our time? Are we just left to the mercy of thugs in fancy suits like Leroy Parris? Where is the vision for our nation? Is it lost to the greed of the very few at the expense of everyone else?

    Does Fruendal Stuart and his administration realize that he should not espouse the DLP of the past if the DLP of present appears to have lost its way for Barbados’ future?

    Call me an optimist Mr Caswell, but surely there has to be something which can be done to prevent this collapse. I solicit your suggestions.

    • To put a failure of BPWCCUL in perspective this credit union accounts almost 50% of credit union marketshare.

  5. I am a member of the BPWCCUL and is very concerned about what is happening at this credit union. I am paying back a loan and therefore I owe them more than my savings but that does not give me comfort. The credit union is the saviour of poor Barbadians and therefore must not be allowed to fail by these modern day frauds.
    Only if we were to follow the American system where rich or poor you are locked up for being a fraud. Just saw an article where ex Illinoi governor Rod Blagojevich that is a fraud was given 23 years in prison. NOT IN BARBADOS

  6. Karl & David

    The failure of the Supervisor of Insurance to perform the statutory duties of that office is responsible for the predicament that many policy holders and investors, in CLICO, find themselves. Now history is about to repeat itself this time with Public Workers Credit Union. For years the Registrar of Co-operatives failed to adequately regulate credit unions, particularly Public Workers. The responsibility for regulating credit unions has now been transferred to the new Financial Services Commission, unfortunately, this fledgling organization is not adequately staffed and is incapable of carrying out its functions. Currently, Government does not seem to have the resources to provide adequate staff. Also, it is not interested in employing experienced persons to regulate credit unions. It would appear that they are more interested in providing jobs for their friends.

    I am forced to interact with the Financial Services Commission on a regular basis, and I am completely disgusted by their lethargic responses to problems. Molasses would pass them going uphill.

    All is not lost though, but, the solution to the problem is not characteristically Barbadian. We need public officials to do their duty without fear or favour. The very structure of the Financial Services Commission would mitigate against that since the workers there do not have security of tenure. If they fail to respond to political interference, they would be looking for jobs. Silly politicians pass legislation without regard to the adverse consequences. That is also part of the problem that begs for reform. Politicians need to put the policy in place and stay away from the day-to-day administration of the public service.

  7. @ Clone | March 15, 2012 at 8:37 PM |
    “I am paying back a loan and therefore I owe them more than my savings but that does not give me comfort.”

    Unless you are getting tax breaks (this incentive I believe is no longer available) from your savings why not reduce your exposure by reducing your loan balance with some of the said savings? The interest earned on your savings could never be more than the interest charged on your loan. But, then again, it might be a mortgage on your property and you would still get your mortgage interest tax break. It is rumored that these remaining tax breaks for individuals might be up for the cut, possibly not in an election year but most likely the year after. Pension contributions and other deferred income plans might be spared.

    Even if the credit union goes into administration you will still have to repay the loan but your savings might be frozen. My advice is to reduce your exposure. You can only get tax breaks on actual outlays. It is NOT a Benefit but a Break or discount.

    See, free advice from a BU family member. If you had gone to D&T you might have received a bill for $5,000.00 plus VAT (LOL!!).

  8. There is a sense of concern given the level of advertising by BPWCCUL for deposits. This is at a time when earlier this week Mia Mottley in the Estimates Debate referred to the liquidity in the system.

  9. David | March 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM |
    “There is a sense of concern given the level of advertising by BPWCCUL for deposits. ”

    A ponzi-type CLICO strategy for enticing the suckers while the FSC turns a blid eye and refuses to blow the whistle for “foul”.

    • As a member you are scared: Why? You shouldn’t be. This excessive behaviour by various boards didn’t just happen. Corruption has been a feature of Public Workers credit union for years. The vast majority of members who attend meetings do so for the food, and do not pay attention to the affairs of the credit union. Elections were rigged and members did not care as long as there was food on the buffet. Questionable investments were made without consulting the members but they didn’t care as long as food was on the buffet. Bogus accounts were presented last year but members paid no attention as long as food was on the buffet.

      Over the years the Boards realized that the members had this love affair with food and made sure that important resolutions always came just before lunch is served. I well remember how this food business started. During the 1980s there was always problems getting a quorum. One day a meeting had to be aborted for lack of a quorum (in those days 30 members constituted a quorum). I was present when the president said that he knew how to deal with the problem, that the next time the meeting is advertised that he would put on the bottom of the agenda that refreshments would be served. So said so done and at the next meeting they catered for 150 members and ran out of food. Just the week earlier they could not muster 30 members but when food was placed on the agenda 200 people turned up. It has been so ever since that fateful, or should I say “foody” day.

      As long as members got their food, they didn’t care what was going. Now Public Workers has become a den of corruption right before the members’ eyes so don’t get scared get active and try to rescue the Credit Union before it is too late.

    • @Caswell

      A lack of advocacy and a lack of consumerism are qualities which characterize the Bajan way of life. Maybe the failure of another financial institution is what it will take to have the Bajan Spring.

    • The Interloper

      I can assure you that most of what was written in the post is accurate. I can also assure you that the writer has missed out a lot. The only disservice is that the members and the regulators sit down like drones and allow this level of corruption. We have all of the elements of another CLICO like disaster in the making.


      Unfortunately, we cannot afford to let Public Workers Credit Union fail. The Financial Services Commission needs to get up off its behind and do their duty, rather than indulge itself in the bureaucracy that it has developed. The have the power to make the difference but somehow, it seem that they are more about form than substance.

  10. I presume that BU has investigated this and confirmed the facts. If not, BU may, in fact, be doing a disservice to many people. Bear in mind that even if all is okay, the wide perception to the contrary may still result in failure and the latter may be BU’s disservice. The ability to influence the public is a responsibility that should be taken seriously.

  11. @Caswell

    yes the members only go to meeting for the food and vote in the rigged elections and then disappear. It pains me that those johny-come-latelies are manipulating the movemeent, and enough people with commonsense dont come to the meetings to have meaningful discussions. sometimes i hear people say that they are going to ensure that they owe more than they have saved in case the movement fail. But Caswell, you are responsible for having that jack ass as the CEO who needs to be got rid off, how can mambers go about ridding the movement of her?

    • Let me put some of your misunderstandings of what transpired at Public Workers. I admit that I used my influence to assist Miss Alleyne to get a job as legal adviser, she is an attorney-at-law and qualified for that position. I was not responsible for putting her in any other position. I would not like to see the credit union fail, but if it does, I reject that I would have any responsibility. I was the only one for years fighting to ensure that the credit union operated within the law. I went as far as reporting the stealing to the Police, DPP. Registrar of Co-operatives and the Minister responsible for Co-operatives. A senior police officer called me and asked me not to pursue the matter since the perpetrators were all black people.

      The police refused to prosecute, and the Registrar refused to follow the law despite having knowledge of wrongdoing. The boards had protection from politicians who wanted to use the credit union to launder money.

      I agree that there is need for a special audit in addition to criminal prosecutions

    • @Caswell

      There is the other part of the question posed by Bush Tea. Why run away to COB? Why not stand your ground and fight the caause?

    • David & Bush Tea

      I did not run away to COB: I have been associated with COB for a number of years, as a matter of fact, I revised COB’s By-Laws when it was continue under the new Co-operative Societies Act in 1990.

      A Public Workers, I was fighting a one man battle against embezzlement and other breaches of the law. Everyone wanted me to do the dirty work but I got no assistance. I got tired after a while, even when they purport to revoke my membership I refused to fight because it suited my purpose.

      In 2008, I, along with two others were elected unopposed to the Board of Directors, and the presiding officer, Delisle Hurley, ignored the By-laws and declared Paul Maxwell and two other persons, none of whom were nominated in accordance with the By-laws, as winners. I took the matter to binding arbitration and won. The Credit Union took the Registrar to court in order to prevent me serving. The Registrar did not adequately or urgently defend the action. They allow the matter to languish in court for three years and allowed my term to expire in 2011. I did not have the resources to fight the matter in court so I could not instruct a lawyer to protect my interest. As a matter of fact the Registrar never included me in the matter as an interested party. The members did nothing while all this was going on: What would you have me do?

      I was fighting against a corrupt board of directors, an ineffective supervisory committee, the senior ranks of the Police Force, the Registrar of Co-operatives and the Minister with responsibility for Co-operatives. The final straw came for me when I complained to my friend the late Prime Minister. He wrote back that he had asked the Permanent Secretary , Ministry of Finance to investigate and report back to him. The Credit Union got a clean bill of health and when I checked, the investigator was one of the people involved in the wrongdoing, one of the persons against whom I had made several complaints in connection with the breaches at Public Workers. What would you have me do?

  12. @ Caswell
    Any failure of Public Workers will be your failure. For years you were the voice and conscience of the members of that body but you gone and let the “non-cooperators” chase you out…
    Bush Tea hope that you are not thinking that running off to COB absolves you of current responsibility for this mess. As Blogger 2012 says you are responsible for lots of things back there….

  13. While you are talking about public workers I was impressed by the emergency services response to the masscasulty minibus accident.

    Very impressive. They should be congratulated.

    With all the doom on gloom on this blog it is easy to ignore the fact that some of the Barbados public servants do a great job.

    Sympathy to those who suffered in the crash.

  14. As a worker and one that would never be associated with posting on this bloc, I believe there has been a tremendous amount of politics involved. I remember when the Board got rid of Senator Irene Dandified, one of the hard working former staffers. That was wrong but this Paul Maxwell is the son of a former DLP Speaker of the House of Assembly. So if you think that Leroy Parris was well connected, wheel and come agn.

    Mr. MAXWELL is absolutely immune to everything. In monopoly you.would say he got his ‘get out of jail free card’

    Many of the women in the organisation understand that, so what you want.us to do. I just sorry that he didn’t choose me but I not red like the girls he like.

    When he invite you to go to a conference that ain’t got nothing to do with yuh job – yuh done know what the programme is.

    Plus he gine be the next CEO so what to do? Give up a little as job security and at least yuh would also get invite to Bubbas to watch some basketball and an occassional dinner at Champers.

    I watch when that Board shaft Irene and their own Sondra Willet-Elcock a professional and hard-working woman that used to be trekking minutes at all hours for them. Next thing Bram she gone.

    Night could only run til day catch it and PM should despise that huh got to be able to control.huh womenn and huh just cant have two on the same floor in the same building. That is trouble and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

    I just hope when they get rid of me I get a good cheque.
    it and if PM was smart he would. realise that yuh got to control yuh women. A hath no fury like a woman scorned.


    Whenever done, this Government got to take responsibiliy and the Barbados Workers Union too. I watch close when Irene get kick out and Bobby at the BWU aint eben blink cause he is one of de Maxwell boys looking out fuh de son for the father.

    ng to do aid uuh

  15. Look Caswell, by now you must realize that the Bushman knows everything 🙂 – so all that you have said (and more) is well known to Bushie….
    If you were a normal member you would be justified in ‘dunnin widd dat’ long ago.

    But You are CASWELL!!!!

    Just because a bent Board with access to millions of dollars that is not theirs, a retarded Registrar, a useless Supervisory Committee, disinterested members, senior policemen, Ministers of Government and even your schoolmate and friend and PM were all either against you, or disinterested, – WAS NO REASON TO QUIT!!!!

    Here was thinking that at last Caswell getting a real challenge to test his character…..and you ups and gone…

    As Man Caswell, BushTea fully expected you to bring a high court action against THE WHOLE LOT FROM YOUR OLD SCHOOL FRIEND BACK … With you representing yourself….

    Bushie could just see you in front of Chandler or Worrell showing those jokers that in the end, THERE IS A RULE OF LAW.

    Eventually (like Enron, Stanford, Parris and many others to come,) there will be a price to be paid. However, with people like you around, that price can be extracted BEFORE poor, foolish, disinterested people lose all their savings……

    You should NEVER have left…

    • David

      It is not as simple as that. Any future steps to rein in Public Workers, on my part would require money that I don’t have. I notice that others are now interesting in the fight. I would rather concentrate my efforts on COB to prevent them from going the way of Public Workers. In any sphere where human beings interact they will be problems, I admit that there are some problems at COB but they pale into insignificance when compared to the problems at BPWCCUL. I intend to keep it that way. In any event, the members of COB are far more vigilant. Plus, a number of people have followed me to COB because of the confidence they have in me: I owe it to them to make sure that COB remains on an even keel. BPWCCUL is already taking on water: I can’t swim.

      It gives me no comfort that whistle-blower is now confirming that I was right with respect to the purchase of the Broad Street property. Only a fool would believe that all was well in the acquisition of that property. I was a member of the board when the purchase was first proposed. It was offered to us at $4.4 million, we engaged engineers to advise us and they recommended against the purchase. Even Delisle Hurley, who was on the board as well thought it was a bad idea. I lost my seat on the board and next thing you know, the credit union is proposing to purchase the property for $6.5 million, on the advice of guess who -Delisle Hurley.

  16. Caswell was right all along especially on who got kick-backs on the purchase of the Broad Street property.

    Even this needs to be re-opened so that justice can be done.

    This represents the misdirection of money that does mot belong to them and on the face of it is criminal in nature!

  17. @Caswell

    Understand your disappointment and frustration after many years of fighting against wrong doing. The answer is not to runaway like Bush Tea opined but to use you talent to strategize and find a way to overcome. To walk away is to surrender all of your lifes work already given to the credit union.

  18. @ Caswell
    ….” I can’t swim…”.
    It is St Thomas you come from right? …that puts a different light on matters. 🙂

    Truth is that no one can honestly ask more of you in your unselfish and brave efforts to deal with this monster. The real tragedy is, as you said, the disinterest of the membership. Bajans seem to expect that somebody owes them big time, so they should be able to put their hard earned savings into any kind of scheme, Trade Confirmers, CLICO, or the Credit Union, and be automatically protected from the vermin that are naturally attracted to such funds.

    The difference with the Credit Union is that THEY WERE ABLE AT ANY TIME TO KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING…. And you saw to that.

    Actually, as you may have guessed, Bushie have nothing but respect and admiration for you in this regard and fully understands your decision to operate at reduced levels of stress…. After all, “You ain’t two mornings” … As the old people used to say…

    Anyhow, look after yourself, cause Bushie still holding the little pick for you as Chairman of the National Supervisory Committee (the new senate) when Bushie and the other BBE boys take over….

  19. @Caswell

    Understand your position but know that you are acutely aware that any failure or perceived problem with BPW will revibrate within the movement.

  20. Why can’t the internal auditor become a whistle blower and come on this blog to get his story out.
    This credit union would make Clico case look small as over thirty thousand Barbadians will be losing money. This will now lead to a revolt because these people are the poor who barely are able to save a little four cent. Natural justice maybe carried out on people like Paul Maxwell

    • @FrenchBajan

      Who can guarantee the safety of any financial institution?

      There is inherent risk to ANY investment.

      The key is to mitigate risk by adopting a sensible investment strategy.

    • FrenchyBajan

      You asked, “How safe is COB?”

      Far safer than Public Workers Credit Union. I am not saying that COB is perfect, but the whole sale thievery that is allowed to flourish at Public Workers would not see the light of day at COB. Of course, COB has some problems, but the current Supervisory Committee functions as intended and any breaches of the Act, Regulations, By-laws or good corporate governance are quickly dealt with. I know this for sure because I am now a member of the Supervisory Committee of COB. As a matter of fact, I just arrived home from one such meeting making sure that COB stays on the straight and narrow.

  21. @Caswell

    can u frame a resolution for a special audit please citing the relevant standing order.


  22. @ Caswell Franklyn | March 21, 2012 at 10:06 PM |
    “I know this for sure because I am now a member of the Supervisory Committee of COB”

    And you were put there for that very reason. To make sure you put your bite where your bark can’t echo. Despite the obvious displeasure and objection shown by James Paul at the last AGM it was psychically arranged for you to win that vote. Call it ‘divine’ vote rigging if you will, but in light of the pending hard economic times we cannot afford the luxury of wastage, inefficiencies and management profligacy when it comes to spending members’ money.

  23. I have read the post with interest. Responding to clarify certain comments. I asked Public Workers’ Credit Union for a package in late 2005 or early 2006. Why? Because they attempted to fire me on June 04, 2004. I had to give a board member a piece of my mind. He was out of order, I called him into my office on his next “visit” to the organisation and quietly set him straight. Simple thing. He was not my boss. No director of a credit union can act as an executive manager. They are rank and file general members. we all know that. He complained to the CEO and they decided to send me home that day “…pending an investigation…”
    In addition, I had been the organisation’s BWU delegate for eight years and I knew my rights. You do not treat union delegates as you would non-delegates. You make sure you have all your loose ends tied up. Properly. Robert Bobby Morris stepped in immediately, they behaved in a misguided manner and he shut down the place on my behalf for a day. So please do not denigrate Bobby Morris on this post. I went back to work with the full knowledge that I needed to work elsewhere. So I asked for a package. That is my story. The first time publicly discussed by me. BU Exclusive lolol.
    But on a more serious note: I had spent a decade there and I did work hard. Very hard. I was the sole employee in the Marketing Department for nine years.
    I came and found 15,000 members and left the credit union with 50,000 plus. The records are there. I had radio programmes going (first time a credit union had one.) For the first time, the credit unions in Barbados were gaining an image as a viable alternative to banks. We even moved into London and New York. (And we did not fly first class!!). The objective was to make the movement attractive to Barbadians; visible.I used my marketing and journalism training and qualifications to good effect. And enjoyed doing it in uncharted territory. I worked above and beyond the call of duty with the guidance of my mentor Keith Bourne – I would always seek his counsel – because I believed in and still believe in the principles that the credit union movement is founded on.
    I restarted the practice of the founding members Olive Trotman and the same Keith Bourne, and recommenced visits to private qualifying workplaces and government offices to recruit members.We hit the tar at least once every week. Probably the Creator was training me to canvass all those years ago!! Not even sure that happens anymore. What I have read here disturbs me greatly and I do hope most of it is untrue. For the movement’s sake and my personal peace of mind. Most everything I own is in there. I have encouraged all my family and friends to join over the years, and none is regretful. So talk of a collapse is heresy to me. I already had my bitter experience elsewhere…
    I am of the firm conviction that the rules and regulations of the institution allow for the members to turn it around.
    I do agree to a certain point, as was said earlier, that our membership has become too complacent, and those who could rally them to action have been compromised in one way or another. Too much of what I have read on this blog, if what is said is true, points to a sleeping membership.
    But I have full confidence that whatever ills are apparent can be addressed within the Act and by the members. They just need competent, credible leadership to go forward. For obvious reasons I cannot lead the charge at this level.
    So to all those rank and file members who feel there is need for action, get up and act. There is too much at stake to just keep chatting and venting on blogs. I have been reading this disturbing information for almost a year now. Members will support credible leaders once they use the tried and true channels. And leave the d*** politics out of it.

  24. @ Irene Sandiford-Garner | March 25, 2012 at 3:32 PM |

    If you are the ‘real McCoy’, then Senator, use your position in the hierarchy of the present Administration to lean over to Mr. Sinckler who is, at least for the time being, the de jure Minister of Finance and in an oxymoronic fashion “loudly” whisper in his ears to raise this alleged lugubrious state of credit union affairs with the Chair of the FSC.

    But we all know that politics makes strange bedfellows, even if Irene is in the middle to make Peace not love.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ? Who will guard the guards?
    FSC should be reporting Directly to a permanent Special Select Committee established by Parliament similar to the PAC NOT to a de facto partisan Minister.

    • Have to agree with miller.

      BPWCCUL is too big to fail.

      It represents more than 50% of the credit union market.

  25. Seems that the Credit Union League wants to establish a replacement for the ‘BNB’. Another ‘People’s Bank’ but second piggy-bank for the government to off load its growing worthless paper.
    Until the government gives us the assurances the FSC will do its job free from political interference; not just words of comfort but deeds, implementation and enforcement of regulatory procedures we should be wary of any Credit Union run bank.

    • @miller

      Listen to a representative from the Barbados Credit Union League expounding on the fact Sir Courtney will be submitting a first draft of a viability study soon. The immediate thought was how could such an announcement be made at this stage? What is the purpose of speaking to the topic? Has the FSC paved the way for the credit unions in Barbados to travel the path is it proposing? How will that industry which seems to be underfunded i.e.shares to loan ratio fund a coop bank. Let Bush Tea et al know that BU is not oppose to the idea but like miller stated we need to do it right if we do.

    • These clowns at the league have no idea what they are talking about. A co-operative bank sounds nice but what is it.?. Go online and check the definition: my preferred definition is: an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their members’ needs through a democratically controlled way. How is that different from a credit union? These jokers hear terms and want to dupe people into buying into their get-rich schemes.

      These maguffies continue to set up structures using credit union funds and then deny the credit union members any say in the resulting entities. A co-operative bank would only be another avenue for persons to set themselves up as directors to fleece the docile credit union membership. Pray tell me, what can a co-operative bank do that a credit union cannot? Why do they need a co-operative bank?

  26. … and whisper to him also that a perfect storm of misfortunes is not impossible for Barbados and that serious proactive action is needed to avert some aspects of that putative storm comprising, eg. a BPWCCUL collapse; the CLICO worse case scenario re. BIPA; a significant rating agencies downgrade; further loss of investor confidence; an IMF structural adjustment package; etc. etc.

    Are the consequences of even just 3 of the above hitting us at the same time imaginable?

  27. @ Checkit-Out | March 26, 2012 at 7:01 PM |

    Those who are steeped in the history of this brown and sometimes green and pleasant land or anyone who has been through the ‘horned ‘pipe of Life’s experiences should recognize this is our modern-day ‘Waterloo’. A time for true friends to rally around in our hour of need. Barbados is being put to the test, big time. The seven years of plenty are over and the hard times in the desert with its sand storms are slowly but slowly encroaching. What should we do, Captain Stuart or the old brigand OSA? Cash in the 50 year bonds we have taken out in the “free” education investment or just ask for a dividend or interest payments?
    This free tertiary education is beginning to take on the makings of another CLICO EFPA, it seems like. We better check it out before June!

  28. @ David and Checkit-Out

    LOL… Why wanna don’t let sleeping Bushes lie nuh….?

    There is nothing wrong with the Credit Union movement owning a Bank….. Don’t mind Caswell. He is a good fellow, but he is MUCH too conservative in his thinking. That is why Bushie has him tagged as Chairman of the SUPERVISORY Committee….. But will keep him FAR from the Board room.

    Just as there was nothing wrong with the movement owning an Insurance Company back in the 1990’s.
    The truth is that Credit Unions, at this stage, should be major shareholders in such entities as BL&P, the food retail and processing industry, Banking and indeed any area where ITS MEMBERS need to conduct critical business.

    The IDIOCY of accumulating billions of dollars and lodging it in Banks for crooks to access and make massive profits OFF THE BACKS OF MEMBERS is suicidal.

    Caswell violently opposed Doyle and those who pushed the Insurance company and other similar ideas. He was wrong then, and he wrong about the bank now too….. But Bushie still want him as chairman of the NSC 🙂

    • Bush Tea

      You wrote:
      “Caswell violently opposed Doyle and those who pushed the Insurance company and other similar ideas. He was wrong then, and he wrong about the bank now too….. But Bushie still want him as chairman of the NSC :)”

      You know that is completely untrue: it was me who proposed the formation of an insurance company on the floor of a league meeting, not Frank Alleyne as it is now recorded.

  29. @ Checkit-Out
    What perfect storm what??!!

    Think about it, if there is to be a failure of a business, the VERY BEST type of failure will be a Credit Union. 90% of the liabilities of the organization is in the form of loans TO MEMBERS.
    Even if it fails, ( and history and common sense shows that because of the openness and transparency, failure is ONLY POSSIBLE if practically ALL of the members deliberately cause its failure by their disinterest and inaction.) the assets will be in the hands of its rightful owners for the most part.

    There is no better form of organization in existence. the more of our organizations that follow this principle, the more robust will be our society.
    Unfortunately, we have retained a corps of self-centered and closed-minded leaders without the vision needed to strategize at such a level and they have managed to squeeze out those with the broader view and the cooperative spirit ( such as Bourne, Doyle, Caswell and Sandiford-Garner)

    • @Caswell

      You assert that the credit unions can do what banks do. Are you sure?

      Do credit unions sell foreign exchange for example?

  30. David!!!

    It is well past Bushie’s bedtime, that makes a Bushman irritable so don’t set yourself up for a cussing now….

    What foolishness are you asking …?
    Credit Unions can put themselves in position to facilitate ANY LEGITIMATE business that its members may need to have. Just like BNB or FCIB, it can hire the needed expertise to manage these services.
    WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT is that the Board room will be influenced by the wishes and desires of the movement. THAT is what economic enfranchisement is really about.

    Same with agriculture and manufacturing. It does NOT mean that people like Caswell and Bushie will be into farming, but that the movement will be influencing the decisions IN THE BOARDROOMS…. Decisions such as where major contracts go, how investments are made etc…. To the benefit and in the interest of members.

    • @Bush Tea

      You need to reread the question.

      Under the Act which governs credit unions are they allowed to offer the same services as banks.

      It is a simple question Bushie.

  31. @Caswell Franklyn | March 26, 2012 at 8:54 PM |

    as usual ur right on the ball. i love ur intellilect. it seems Bush Tea had too much bush tea, cause he’s talking pure ……..

    • David

      Google “St. Mary’s Bank” or follow the links below. When you do so, it will be clear to you that the people leading the credit union movement in this country are just a bunch of jokers. What pains me about this whole exercise is that they are prepared to waste members/workers money hiring Sir Courtney Blackman, one of the most anti worker persons that I have ever encountered.



    • @Caswell

      To clarify, are you saying that credit unions in Barbados are not following the model established elsewhere like the example you gave of St Marys Bank?

      Are you saying the movement in Barbados is restricted under the Act is currently operates and amendment would be needed to allow the movement to over similar services to a bank?

      How do you respond to the fact that the FSC is charged with oversight of credit unions and not the Central Bank of Barbados.

    • David

      To clarify, a co-operative bank and a credit union are basically one and the same thing.

      There are no restrictions in the Co-operative Societies Act to prevent a credit union from issuing chequing accounts or dealing in foreign exchange. Those restrictions are as a result of policy and Central Bank intransigence.

      Who regulates credit unions is not the problem as long as they do so in accordance with the Co-operative Societies Act. By the way the FSC is not now regulating credit unions: there is only one officer at the FSC that has any knowledge of credit unions. FSC was ill conceived but the need to change as much of the Public Service into statutory boards to facilitate political interference prevailed in this case. Presently, credit unions are like ships on the high seas without a compass.

  32. David | March 26, 2012 at 10:25 PM | @Caswell You assert that the credit unions can do what banks do. Are you sure? Do credit unions sell foreign exchange for example?


    The only thing that is stopping credit unions from issuing cheques is the Central Bank. The only thing that is stopping credit unions from dealing in foreign exchange is the Central Bank.

    I know of at least one travel agency that sells foreign exchange. If they can why does the Government restrict credit unions?

    A credit union is really a co-operative bank. To demonstrate I will quote from a book called “People Not Profit – The Story of the Credit Union Movement” published by Kendall/Hunte Publishing Company, and the Credit Union National Association of the USA in 1993:

    “First Stirrings in the U.S.
    As the Canadian movement became established, interest grew to the south. The parishioners of St. Mary’s Church, in Manchester, New Hampshire, decided they wanted to form a credit union. They invited Desjardins to help them. The first U.S. credit union was organized in 1908 and chartered in 1909. It was called La Caise Populaire Ste. Marie, and was chartered under a special act of the New Hampshire legislature. It still operates under that authority, with the same progressive tradition. The Caisse Populaire Ste. Marie is known today as St. Mary’s Bank, but don’t let the name fool you. It is a credit union”.

    I rest my case. Co-operative bank my foot, these jokers don’t know what they are talking about.

  33. It is MUCH easier to invest in owning a bank through which Credit Union policy and action can be channelled in the interest of members, than to seek to change the needed laws, attitudes and mis- perceptions about the possible scope of the credit union.

    Even people like Caswell fail to be able to see the potential of the movement in such areas as politics, food production and distribution etc, too; so how can we blame government for not seeing the credit union as equal to a bank?

    You may well initiated the proposal to get into insurance, but your subsequent role in the early life of the resulting entity was to say the least questionable….
    Looking at the kinds of businesses that other credit unions get into is not helpful to us. Cooperatives own electric utilities, Farms, Manufacturing Plants etc in large areas of the USA. In Many parts of the world, the largest insurance operations are coops….. So the sky is the limit.

    The question is ‘what are we capable of visualizing and actualizing….?’

  34. Bush Tea

    My early role in any controversy about the insurance company was limited to going to Corporate Affairs and collecting a copy of the incorporation documents that showed that the principals behind its formation were creating an organization with credit union funds with the credit unions having no say. As a result, the whole structure of the insurance company was changed to reflect its ownership.

    Now to deal with your misinterpretation of my views about a co-operative bank versus a credit union. They are one and the same thing. Yes, like you I believe that the co-operative model is best suited for governance. However, a financial co-operative is called a credit union. If a co-operative forms a bank it cannot be operated as the league and you seem to suggest because it would only be able to serve its membership. It could not even use the name “co-operative in its title because of restrictions by section 13 of the Co-operative Societies Act.

    Bush Tea get it through your head that a bank that is operated as a co-operative is a credit union

  35. Caswell
    Step back for 1 minute
    Bush Tea is looking at the PRACTICAL, SIMPLE way to skin a cat. You are right that the credit union is the same as a bank, you have been saying that for 20 years. 🙂

    The PRACTICAL approach ( which will accomplish the same end immediately) is to own a bank – which you can then operate AS YOU WISH. Obviously, you and the Bushman will see to it that it is operated according to cooperative principles.

    Even if you went to court to enforce your legal right to operate an a bank, how long you think before you get a license? Or welcomed into the local network of banks? Or gain the trust of members?

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do Caswell….

  36. BTW Caswell,
    Your recollection of your role in the Co operators saga seem to have been viewed through rose glasses and with the wisdom of time having passed….. Remember that BT knows all…and have documents…. 🙂

  37. Caswell is 100% correct. Credit Unions cannot even now meet the legal requirement of 10% capital. How are they going to capitalise this bank? If it is a bank that is the bank exclusively for credit unions like the US Corporates where will it invest the credit union deposits? How would it deal with the concentration risks? Indeed wouldn’t these deposits be inter-company in nature with even higher contagion risk profiles. No don’t be fooled this is another way to line the pockets of directors and their friends? BTW this same Sir Courtney was doing some work for Public Workers before they should tell the public what his findings were then. Don’t think we ever saw anything in writing from him but he used to meet with certain Directors quite frequuently. In fact Public Workers used to put him up at Hilton when he was here.

  38. “What pains me about this whole exercise is that they are prepared to waste members/workers money hiring Sir Courtney Blackman, one of the most anti worker persons that I have ever encountered.”

    Is that the same Sir Courtney Blackman who was on Allen Stanford’s board of directors?

  39. One and the same!!! He should have been asked to ay back all those board fees he earned as one of the major forces behind the Stanford Ponzi scheme.

    • Two weeks have now passed, what is next?

      On 29 March 2012 22:14, David wrote: > Does anyone think that most Barbadians will question Sir Courtney’s credentials? >

    • According to the news clip Hally Haynes indicated Sir Courtney was contracted to prepare a viability report.

  40. What is happening. These people who we, the rank and file members, put to lead us are only out to poke out our eyes while grabbing all for themselves. Look at what the BPWCCUL give us on our deposits and investments – bare pittance while they do dixie with the money they are responsible for. As it is understood they can offer more than they give, and it would still be within the Central Bank guide lines. But why should they when they have taken over from NUPW flying club. If you thought that NUPW was bad think again.
    And what about the COB. I understand that Caswell is down there and seems to be unearthing just as much shit and those who are in the archer’s range want him gone.
    Look if there is wrong doing bring it out before we end up losing all that we try so hard to muster. Caswell if you find wrong doing expose it.
    What is wrong with these people and people’s money.

  41. Sir harcourt Lewis has a proven track record. He was responsible for the setting up of the major governmental financial institutions in Barbados under both administrations unlike Sir Courtney whose claim to fame has been his chant for little or no increases for publicworkers at the commencement of salary negotiations while all the time living high off the Central Bank hog.
    Here is what the esteemed late great Errol Walton Barrow had to say about the performance of the tingod Sir Courtney,( the man who once described himself as the creature of the Minister of Finance) when Mr Barrow was speaking in the House of Assembly on a Resolution for the approval of a loan to be raised by private issue in Japan.

    ” I think that the Govenor of the Central Bank should go alone, because it would have to be due to his bad advice, and i am not pulling any punches at this stage of my political career. I am not going to participate in this business of sheltering people who have sold this island down the river. It would have to be due to his bad advice, or to his lack of basic manhood, if he gave good advice if he failed to resign from a position he is larging off with, in a structure bigger than Buckingham Palace, that we find ourselves in this predicament.”

  42. I am an active member of the BPWCCUL living overseas. I must disclose that I served as a member of the supervisory committee back in 1996-1997. It must be noted that all members of the Board are members elected at the A.G.M. Perhaps the quality of the Board and Committee members is a reflection of the membership and the small group of people attending, participating and influencing meetings. It is true that the credit union has operated like a boys clubs and at times some board members have been know to hire persons of questionable character. I probably have more to lose than some of the person commenting herein. We need to attract qualified persons both as employees and members of the committees. We need to ensure that staff, Board members, and committees of management operate in such a manner that they disclose conflicts of interest, whether it is business interest or involve family members.doing g business with the credit union.

    I suppose I will have to book my ticket and come home to this year’s A.G.M. When are elections? Others commenting in this forum should declare their interest. lol. Howerver, it appears everyone commented here except for one person are all ghost. If members beleive that wrong doing as occurred then they should use the credit union by-laws to correct exist problems.

    • @Martin St. Mark

      It is known that there is a small group of people who play musical chairs to represent the various supervisory and credit committees across the movement. If you were as involved as you have indicated then you know that this is the problem. The vast majority of people who save with the credit union do so with no desire to serve on mentioned committees. Have you ever attended an AGM or Special Meeting and witness how a member who wants to be strident when making a point is treated by the in-crowd?

      BTW you should ignore the names people are using and focus on the points being made. You have no idea why people are operating under the cloak of anonymity or how much share balance they hold.

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