The Deputy Governor for Economic Policy at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. Mounir Siaplay, has underscored the importance of credit unions in providing affordable financial services, according to a press release from the Central Bank of Liberia yesterday.
Dr. Siaplay said credit unions invest their earnings in helping members meet their financial goals. In addition to lower rates and better services, he added, members experience the difference that comes from the democratic structure, services and social goals that credit unions represent.
Each member of a credit union, he observed, is an equal owner of that credit union and is entitled to one vote at the annual meeting, “regardless how much money he or she has deposited in that credit union.”
Dr. Siaplay made the comments recently at the commemoration of International Credit Union Day in Paynesville, standing in for Central Bank Executive Governor Milton Weeks.
The CBL executive called on members to look beyond their local communities to recognize credit unions for the important role they play in many distressed rural and urban areas worldwide. In some areas of the world, Dr. Siaplay observed, people would have had no access to financial services were it not for credit unions.
“No matter where you are in the world, access to financial services is vital. Credit unions are helping members overcome these challenges – not only here in Liberia, but throughout the world,” Governor Siaplay stressed.
He pointed out that the CBL has instituted measures to strengthen the sector by spearheading efforts to revitalize and modernize the credit union movement in Liberia. The CBL, he said, has issued regulations for the licensing and operation of credit unions in Liberia in keeping with its mandate to regulate, monitor and supervise all financial institutions. The regulations, Dr. Siaplay said, are
intended to provide minimum regulatory requirements, prudential standards and operational guidelines required of credit unions seeking to offer savings deposits and loan services to its members.
He disclosed that the CBL is currently undertaking an awareness exercise so that credit unions throughout Liberia will be duly informed of the new regulations aimed at strengthening the sector.
The third Thursday in October each year is set aside to commemorate Credit Union Day around the world.