A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
A Credit Union is a co-operative financial institution, that is owned and controlled by its members and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at reasonable rates, and providing other financial services to its members.
Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership –
Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership without gender, social, racist, political or religious discrimination.
2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control – Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.
3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation – Members contribute equitably to and democratically control the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surplus for any or all of the following purposes:
- Developing their co-operative possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible.
- Benefitting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative.
- Supporting other activities approved by the membership.
4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence – Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations, controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organisations, including governments or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.
5th Principle: Education, Training and Information – Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of co-operatives.
6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives – Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7th Principle: Concern for Community – Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.
The Co-operative League is the apex body of the Co-operative Movement in SVG. It was formed to Co-ordinate, Monitor and Promote activities for the Development, Growth, Expansion and Integration of Co-operative Societies in SVG.
The League was formed in 1962 and was later registered on July 3, 1964. So we have been around for well over 50yrs and counting.
Each member must be committed to investing more than the minimum requirement of one share in their credit union. This is one of the ways that the equity/capital will increase. Increased equity/capital will help the society to be safer and sounder. Members can invest regularly in their credit union by buying a few shares every year.
No. Each member will continue to have one vote even if he/she holds more than one share. This is in keeping with the credit union operating principle of democratic control…”One Member. One Vote.
It represents a member’s ownership of, or member’s equity in the credit union. This amount cannot be withdrawn while the person remains a member.
This gives the Credit Union another option for raising capital. It is also in keeping with the International Financial Reporting (Accounting) Standards that require equity to be treated in a certain way. Permanent shares represent members’ equity in the Credit Union.
Permanent Shares cannot be withdrawn but can be transferred or sold to a Credit Union member.
The money in regular shares can be withdrawn, subject to a notice period if necessary. Permanent shares cannot be withdrawn; they can only be sold or transferred when the member decides to give up membership.
A Permanent Shares increase the capital of the Credit Union and allows it to undertake expansion and enhancement of service to the members.