Central Bank Governor Discusses Credit Union Act Amendments

Central Bank Governor Discusses Credit Union Act Amendments

As it relates to credit unions, on a whole, the Central Bank Governor also indicated that they will be looking at amendments to the Credit Union Act which would regulate the way of doing business.  Governor Kareem Michael explained that, as it stands, there has been weak governance in this area.

Kareem Michael, Governor, Central Bank of Belize:  “A lot of the credit unions have not elevated their governance framework. And a lot of the issues which we see in the past that has troubled credit unions has boiled down to governance, weak governance systems within the credit unions. For the past maybe even longer than seven years we have been trying to bring about a new Credit Union Act. We have been unsuccessful in doing so and I don’t want to go over the reasons why we have been unsuccessful but come December this year the Central Bank ,the Registrar, will have a draft of a new Credit Union Act which we will then seek support from the Belize Credit Union League for its implementation, the repeal of the previous Credit Union Act and then the implementation of this new one. It begins with the tools granted to the registrar under the Credit Union Act. The current Credit Union Act is dated and so we want to bring about the global standard now for credit union operations and we can only do so if we amend, if we repeal the current Act and implement institute a new modern Credit Union Act. So it starts there. And of course, the Central Bank is increasing its staff complement to heighten its overall vigilance and surveillance of the domestic banking system. So we expect a new Credit Union Act that will give us the teeth to then do more not only on the credit union side but also we have looked at money lenders and we’re also doing different things with the commercial banks to increase or heighten or improve the standard across all financial institutions licensed under the Central Bank.”

According to the Central Bank’s website, there are currently eight licensed credit unions in Belize.

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