Trinidad and Tobago Central Bank Looks to World Council for Guidance
For the first time since 1971, the government
Trinidad and Tobago will make substantial
reforms to its credit union legislation. They
have sought World Council of Credit Unions, Inc.
to provide technical and legislative advice on
the policy proposal.
The legislative initiative will ensure that
credit unions have their own act and will become
prudentially supervised by the Central Bank of
Trinidad and Tobago.
The Central Bank contracted World Council to
advise on the proposal following a visit in May
when World Council's chairman, Gary Plank of the
Arizona Credit Union League met with Trinidad
and Tobago's president and Central Bank
"We knew that World Council had an
perspective on legislation and best practices as
it applies to credit unions, and we wanted to
draw on that," said Charles de Silva,
manager – policy, Financial Institutions
Supervision Department. "As a Central Bank, we
have an instinct to rely on international
organizations we feel have the best grasp on
best practices throughout the world and can give
us an independent view…World Council is
interested in the best legislation and
have a particular ax to grind."
As part of the legislative reforms, the
Bank will license World Council's PEARLS
monitoring system to aid its examiners in
monitoring the financial condition of the
nation's 127 active credit unions.
"In many years of assisting the credit union
movement and national government with forming
new legislation for credit unions, I have never
come across an example where they relied so
heavily on World Council's Model Law for Credit
Unions," indicated Dave Grace, World Council
senior manager of association services. "We
support credit unions being supervised by
skilled prudential supervisors and having their
own piece of legislation. We applaud Trinidad
and Tobago for moving forward on both of these
As more nations in the Caribbean such as
Jamaica, Barbados, and Belize move toward
prudential credit union supervision by the
Central Bank, the consultative experience in
Trinidad and Tobago will become a path for
others to follow.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.