The SJCU breaks ground for its new headquarters
St. John’s Credit Union Limited is expanding its reach in hopes of providing better services to its members. Today, the credit union held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new headquarters building. The launch was met with much fanfare and is expected to enhance the credit union’s service delivery. Reporter Vejea Alvarez tells us more.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Today, St. John’s Credit Union Limited broke ground for the location of its new headquarters on Buttonwood Bay Boulevard in Belize City. The four-story building will be built to state-of-the-art standards and serve as the financial institution’s new centralized location. The credit union has been in operation for over seven decades and its membership has grown exponentially. Alvan Haynes, President of the SJCU’s Board of Directors, says today’s venture centered on providing more accessible and efficient services.
Alvan Haynes, President, SJCU Board of Directors: “This brand new headquarters building will serve more members in a more efficient way as our membership has grown and spread across the country , as people drive to access services they want moire ATM services this building will allow us to accommodate all of that. We’ll maintain the South Side Basra Street as a branch office and we will handle all the growth and planing and strategic elements through the headquarters building.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Daisy Dawson, the credit union’s General Manager, says the building will greatly benefit its over 28,000 members and provide a more spacious working environment for its employees.
Daisy Dawson, General Manager, Saint John’s Credit Union: “Our Basra Street headquarters right now has outgrown its size and so we realized that we need to expand and for us to expand and to be able to offer other products and services to our members. So we saw that need and so the plan was put in motion but we’ll start with the ground floor and what will happen is that the office that we have on the North Side is rental and so that will be a first move to move that and to bring a part of the Basra Street and this will be our new headquarters. So that’s the vision going forward.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: And, the credit union’s move from its historic location on Bastra Street was not an easy one according to Haynes.
Alvan Haynes, President, SJCU Board of Directors: “We had the option to expand on the South Side where the main office is at the moment but this became by far the more practical option based on location, on accessibility and on the capacity. As you can see this is actually three lots conjoined together so the building here will be a much larger building.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Dawson explained that, for senior employees like herself, the venture is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and loyalty the credit union has provided to its members.
Daisy Dawson, General Manager, Saint John’s Credit Union: “When I started with Saint John’s Credit Union it was in 1984 and we had an asset base of less than a million dollars. Today we’re over one hundred million in assets. I’ve seen the growth, I’ve seen the challenges but through all that we were able to persist and we’re here today. I have seen the opening of our branch in Belmopan in 1991 , the opening of our Dangriga branch in 2011, the opening of our North Side branch in 2018 and now today we’re here. And it’s heartwarming in the sense that I’ve been able to see families grow. I’ve seen families realize their dreams, their goals, owning their new home, providing education for their children.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: All-in-all Haynes added that the SJCU’s latest push forward is part of its dedication to providing the best financial service it possibly can to its member owners.
Alvan Haynes, President, SJCU Board of Directors: “We listen to our members. Traditionally credit unions were lending at 12% rate and most have stuck to that. St.Johns has lowered rate, has offered different products. We’re the only ones that have actually dared to go as low as 6% on certain types of loans and of course we work with our members to help them out, to give grace, to restructure, reschedule loans as required but we also offer other benefits and products to help them along as they need.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News.