Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who is eligible to join?
A. Membership is open to all St. Lucian citizens and any OECS National residing, working full time or own real estate in St. Lucia.
Q: Is it true that one must wait a minimum of three (3) months after becoming a member of the credit union to apply for a loan?
A: A full fledged member may apply for a loan as soon as membership requirements have been met.
Q: What are Permanent/Equity Shares?
A: These are long term investments that represent ownership of your credit union.
Q: Why was this change necessary?
A: In the past, Credit Unions treated members’ shares as part of their Equity. However the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) recognizes that the existing Members shares of Credit Unions are not Equity, since these are subject to withdrawal by members.
Q: How were Permanent Shares established?
A: A special general meeting was held on November 22, 2009 approved a one-time automatic transfer of one hundred dollars ($100.00) from each members existing regular shares account. This represents 20 shares of $5.00 each and is credited to a new account for each member called Permanent Shares.
Q: How much is required to open a Permanent Shares Account?
A: Permanent Shares were introduced on January 1, 2010. The required amount to open the account is EC $100.00
Q: Are Permanent Shares required for membership?
A: Yes. Permanent Shares will now hold your voting rights as well as your membership benefits. Persons joining after date of establishment of Permanent Shares, with less than the required $100, will be considered as depositors until the requirement has been met.
Q: How would this affect my existing Shares Account?
A: Your existing shares will now be classified as Regular Share Savings. The operations of the account will remain the same as before.
Q: Can I purchase additional Permanent Shares?
A: You can buy as many Shares as you can afford. Members are strongly encouraged to buy additional Shares after the initial transfer. Shares can be purchased at any time.
Q: How would this affect my eligibility for loans?
A: Your eligibility for loans will not be affected by this new share. Regular Shares Savings accounts will determine your loan eligibility.
Q: What returns would I get on my Accounts?
A: For Permanent Shares, you will receive a dividend annually based on the financial performance of the Credit Union.
For Regular Shares Savings, interest will be paid semi-annually at a rate determined by the Board of Directors.
Q: Is the withdrawal of Permanent/ Equity Shares allowed?
A: Permanent Shares will not be withdraw-able, except in the case of death or cessation of membership.
The Credit Union will facilitate the buying or selling of shares among members.
When a member dies, his/her investment will be given to his/her Beneficiary as usual.
Q: What are some benefits of having Permanent Shares?
• Increased ownership in the Credit Union.
• Permanent Shares may carry a higher rate of return.
• Increased stability of your Credit Union.
Q: How are my Shares recorded?
A: Members are given a Permanent Shares passbook/card which records the amount and value of the shares held. It is to be presented to the society whenever additional Shares are purchase or transferred.
Q: What is the difference between an Authorized person and a Beneficiary?
A: An authorized person is someone who can conduct transactions on your behalf while a beneficiary is the person who inherits your funds in the event of your death.
Q: What is the difference between a non member depositor and a member of the credit union?
A: A non member depositor can only deposit and withdraw funds. He/She does not have access to the credit union’s other products and services. A member on the other hand, has full access to all the credit union’s products and services such as loans, indemnity insurance etc.
Q: What can I do if I’m having difficulty meeting my loan payments?
A: If you are unable to meet your loan payments, it is advised that you speak with your loans officer to discuss your options.