Total assets – 19.5%, deposits – 18.3% and operating surplus – 38.6% are among the areas, the Ariza Credit Union has recorded growth in 2019.
Other areas of growth are membership 12.1%, income 15.2% and institutional capital 15.5%.
President of the Grenada Co-Operative League Ltd, Phillip Telesford, in his address at the virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) congratulated Ariza on its “stunning” achievements, which include meeting the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS 9) along with over $6 million in surplus – 39% growth. More so, a membership of close to 20,000, $450 million in total assets, a gross loan portfolio of $342 million and a total deposit base of $382 million.
Executive Director of the Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions (GARFIN), Denis Felix, reported that the credit union sector in Grenada has realised growth in 2019, with total assets surpassing $1 billion, representing over 15% growth compared to 2018.
Despite this growth, Telesford urged the credit union movement to do more to stimulate employment among women and youth and encourage converting the current COVID-19 challenges into successes.
Specific to Ariza, Felix commended the institution for recording growth in its total assets ($450 million), up from $377 million in 2018, along with improvements in earning and interest payment on deposits to members.
Given the rise in unemployment due to COVID-19, Felix advised the credit union to closely monitor Loan delinquency during this period.
President of Ariza, Javan Williams, pegged the credit union’s success to the engagement in a number of special projects and its rebranding efforts which commenced a few years ago, noting the implementation of a new software leading to greater efficiency in serving members.
In his address to the AGM, Minister for Trade, Industry, Co-operatives and CARICOM Affairs Hon Oliver Joseph congratulated the Board of Directors and management on a job well done. As an Ariza member for the past 40 years, he encouraged management and staff to continue doing great work, highlighting that the credit union’s success is as a result of good leadership and management.
Thus, Hon Joseph expressed confidence that with the strong leadership, Ariza will cushion the shortcomings and overcome the challenges ahead.
According to GARFIN’s Executive Director, the areas of focus going forward for the sector are adequacy of capital base, level and effective management of liquidity, soundness of management practices relating to governance, adequacy of supervision, finalisaiton of cooperatives regulations.
“These areas will form the cornerstone for a strong credit union sector with the capacity of making valuable contribution to the overarching objectives such as ensuring public confidence, protection and financial stability,” he said.
The leadership of the credit union remained unchanged as Aaron Moses, Denis Cornwall, and Carla Thomas-Ross were elected to serve for a second three-year term on the Board of Directors. Ann Isaac and Justin Hazzard were also elected to serve on the Credit Committee for a second three-year term. Elected to serve on the Supervisory and Compliance Committee were Adrian Strachan and Zoë Hagley.
Additionally, the following resolutions were moved and approved by the members in attendance:
1. Approval of the 2020/2021 budget
2. Appointment of auditors for 2020
3. Allocation of surplus of 5% on Equity Shares as well as a loan interest rebate of 2%
4. Reimbursement to Directors and Committee members for expenses incurred by reason of the performance of their duties.
5. Amendment of By-laws
For another consecutive year, Ariza paid 5% dividends to its membership as dividends on their shares amounting to $882,248 and 2% loan interest rebate, amounting to $572,814. These payments were made on Friday September 25, 2020 to members’ Transactional Savings Account.
The AGM also saw the awarding of Ms Marietta Mitchell for her 42 years of service to the credit union, having reached retirement age in January of this year.
The members of the Provident Fund Committee were also awarded for their dedicated service since the launch of the Committee in 2002. They were Gloria Payne Banfield, Madonna Harford, Mary John, Robert Robinson and Rupert John.
At the end of the meeting, Ariza received congratulations on its first virtual AGM from members, especially those abroad who were able to be a part of the proceedings for the first time while off island.
The 73rd AGM, themed “Investing in You,” was held last Thursday (Sept 24) via Zoom, because of the COVID-19 protocols restricting the number of persons for social gatherings.
Ariza’s 2019 annual report and by extension, its AGM was dedicated to Carriacou and Petite Martinique. The sister isles were highlighted throughout the annual report with images of landmarks, scenery, and cultural artefacts. At the virtual AGM, members were able to listen to big drums, dancing and string band entertainment from Carriacou.