What is a credit union?

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A credit union is a co-operative financial institution, which is owned and controlled by its members. Credit unions are not-for-profit, and exist to provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money and obtain loans and other financial services at competitive rates. Members of a credit union share a common bond, such as their occupation, where they live or attend church. (Credit Union League 2004). The Jamaica Credit Union League, a co-operative central body embracing all the credit unions in the island was founded in 1942. The League was a voluntary association, which was democratically controlled and financed by its member credit unions. With the establishing of this League headed by Father John Peter Sullivan, the Movement now had an organization whose objectives included: representing its members by contacting the Government about issues such as legislation, conducting central business services, receiving deposits from Credit Unions and other Co-operative Societies, making loans to its member credit unions and also to undertake investments for the member credit unions by organizing new credit unions. Member societies paid fees of ten cents (10c) per annum per individual member to access the League's services. In March, 1949 the League established the "deposit and loan section' which required that credit unions to deposit sums equal to their statutory reserves. These credit unions could obtain loans at the rate of 5% per annum to meet their own lending demands. [i] Later individual members of credit unions were granted loans on the recommendations of their Credit Unions at the rate of 6%per annum. (Credit Union League 2004). The aim of the Credit Union is to provide a wide range of services to meet the needs of its members and to provide a safe place for savings and completive interest rates on loans.

WHAT IS A DEVELOPMENT BANK?

The Development bank of Jamaica was established on April 1, 2000 (Development bank of Jamaica, 2007) there was a merger between two owned Government of Jamaica institutions, which were the Agricultural Credit Bank and the National Development Bank Of Jamaica Limited. The Agricultural Credit Bank and the National Development Bank were founded in 1981.The Development Bank of Jamaica was governed by the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the board members, which was appointed by the Ministry. According to Development bank of Jamaica (2007) it is stated that the bank provides the following: it facilitates development financing to the productive sectors primarily in the areas of agriculture, agro-processing manufacturing, information processing tourism, service and mining and quarrying. It helps with credit principally through a wide range of Approved Financial Institution (AFIs), including Commercial and Merchant Banks, People's Cooperative Bank; Credit Unions are private sectors development financial institution. They invested in the agricultural, manufacturing, tourism, agro-processing, quarrying and mining and services sectors. They also play a critical role in non-credit activities principally with respect to the upgrading of the People's Cooperative Banks as well as providing assistance to a number of sub-sectors which have faced difficulties. With these roles the development banks seeks to endorse economics development within the developing countries. iiCaribbean Development Bank intends to be the leading catalyst for development resources into the Region, working towards the systematic reduction of poverty through social and economic development. They assist with borrowing member countries to the use of their resources, developing their economies and increase production and trade. They encourage private and public investment, development of the financial upturn in the region and helps business activities and expansion. Developments Banks aimed to mobilize their resources from both within and outside the region for development. These banks provide technical assistance to its regional borrowing members, support regional and local financial institutions and a market for credit savings. They also support and stimulate the development of capital markets within their region. Their vision is to facilitate economic growth, development, job creation resulting in an improved for all Jamaicans. To be an innovative financier of economic activity, they offer a supportive of national development, to provide the best place for work and to be a world class development bank.

CREDIT UNION's IMPACT ON DEVELOPMENT

Credit Unions vary from Banks and other financial institutions, their members have ownership of the credit union and they elect their board of directors in a democratic one-person-one vote system irrespective of the amount of money that has been invested in the credit union. Credit Unions contribute to economic development through the wider community, mobilizing significant volumes of savings. (Journal of Public Sector Policy Analysis 2009) Research has confirmed that credit unions contribute positively to national development in Barbados and other Caribbean territories. (Roland, 2009). Credit Unions continue to be a prominent source of growth within the financial sector and therefore their macroeconomic significance has increased considerably. They have transformed the social and economic status of several members, enabling them to advance from the underprivileged class to the home owner class, by providing affordable terms and conditions for access to loans to finance a wide range of programmes. This paper seeks to determine the contribution of credit unions to national development. Research by the Centre for Economic Development and Area Regeneration (2000) concluded that credit unions start up or operate using the 'ethical approach', which focuses on having a strong community base with much volunteer involvement developing at 'its own pace', have been relatively ineffective. In response to some of the issues raised, there has been a gradual shift in the British credit union movement to 'new model development'(Jones, 2001). Jones believes that new model development is based on seven doctrines which will bring economic success, serving the financial needs of the population at large, maximizing savings, portfolio diversification, operating efficiency, financial discipline, self-governance and assimilation. Evidence of accepting the new model can be seen in the promotion of new business oriented approach to credit union development. Dr. Yaw Forkuoh, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Pharmacy of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), (Ghanaian Jounnal, 2009) stated that credit unions are vital institutions which help to decrease poverty among people in society. He had appealed to the government to channel Poverty Alleviation Funds through credit unions for the distribution to people as loans, to better improve their income and way of life. He said that loan delinquency has been a serious issue facing the credit unions and asked the management of the unions to take the necessary steps to ensure that are been loans granted to their members will be paid on time for others also to benefit from it. Dr. Yaw Forkuoh, believes that the credit union is accessible by its member where loans are concerned which will better develop the economy. Credit Unions contribute and support other local organizations in concreting ways to carry out community projects. These projects have a "community development" focus on building capacity, resilience, and strength in the community and not necessarily any direct economic component. These are resources committed for all different types of activities include financial resources, human resources, equipment, space, and more. Involvement in community development is important; it does not yield a quantifiable return for the credit union or the local economy. With such involvement will strengthen the name and reputation of the credit union as a community leader and contributor. Schulze-Delitzsch and Raiffeisen stated that the Credit unions are not conventional financial institutions. The kind of development for which they are uniquely well-suited is not conventional economic development, but community economic development, which is based in and draws on the community's needs and resources, the same way a credit union does, but by contributing to communities it can be led to economic development. Credit unions have enhanced local economies by increasing the availability of small loans and reduce to meet its members borrowing costs. But where there is a need, credit unions still contain their original potential to be agents for business development. Claes Bell, 2008 said that if everyone was a credit union member, would we be toasting the new economic recovery instead of self-pitying in the same sickness we've been mired in since 2009. A recent survey shows consumers who bank at credit unions have a more positive view of their personal finances than those who don't. According to credit union data released from the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor in September, 38 percent of credit union members rate their personal finances as good or excellent, compared to 30 percent amongst noncredit union members surveyed. Just 17 percent of credit union members rate their finances as poor, while 29 percent of noncredit union members feel the same way. Both groups differ when their personal financial situations are getting better or worse, what's more, credit union members report an objectively better financial situation than their bank-only counterparts. Allowing the poor in various rural areas to increase access to financial services, the poor may face a number of constraints when they seek access to financial services. However access to credit is very crucial because the credit union can smooth cash income fluctuations. They help to achieve occasional unexpected earning opportunities. They open more options and opportunities for increasing the securities and liquidity of a poor household. Access to deposit facilities will allow poor people to store current income for future use, which has welfare to improving effects because it means that people are less likely to suffer when unavoidable external shocks hit them. (Kirton 1991) stated that statistics has proven that majority of credit unions membership falls into lower income category. Credit unions are known to encourage saving habit, they provide low transaction cost too which is required to mobilize a great number of small voluntary savings accounts, offering a wide variety of savings services. They also have sound institutional controls and structures that are needed to accompany saving mobilization. Credit unions contribute significantly to small and micro-enterprise, a great proportion of credit union loans are allocated to a category called the business sector, comprise mostly of micro and small business, involved in a wide range of activities. These business aids in the development of the country through the provision of employment. This goes to show that credit union is vital in developing counties because it helps to boost the economy.

DEVELOPMENT BANK'S IMPACT ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Development bank, national or regional financial institution are designed to provide medium- and long-term capital for productive investment, often accompanied by technical assistance, in poor and developing counties. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica is meticulously stated that the number of development banks has increased significantly since the 1950s; they have been invigorated by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and its affiliates. The large regional development banks along with the Inter-American Development Bank, established in 1959; the Asian Development Bank, which began operations in 1966; and the African Development Bank, established in 1964. They may make loans for specific national or regional projects to private and public bodies or may operate in conjunction with other financial institutions. One of the major activities of development banks has been the recognition and promotion of private investment chances. Although the efforts of the majority of development banks are focused towards the industrial sector, some are also concerned with agriculture. Development banks may be a public or private entity which may own and operated, although governments often make significant contributions to the capital of private banks. The form and cost of financing offered by development banks depend on their cost of earning capital and their need to show a profit and pay dividends. (Development bank 2011). In Development practices have triggered some controversy. Because development banks tend to be government-run and are not accountable to the taxpayers who fund them, there are a small number of checks and balances preventing the banks from making some horrible investments. Some international development banks have been accused for imposing policies that ultimately undermine the economies of recipient countries. Yet another concern centre's on "moral hazard" that is, the possibility that fiscally irresponsible policies by recipient countries will be effectively rewarded and thereby encouraged by bailout loans. While theoretically a serious concern, the existence of such moral hazard has not been substantiated. Growth and Development Strategies for the Caribbean, was coordinated by the Bank's Economics department and includes papers commissioned from Caribbean experts. These papers, which appraise the main strategies for economic growth pursued by regional countries in recent times, are sector-wide in coverage with attention to such areas as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and mining, among others. The Banks are still continuing to work towards being more responsive to its clients by improving efficiency and strengthening its institutional ability. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is the label generically applied to institutions established for the specific purpose of providing finance for economic development. DFCs have also been described as development banks, specialized credit agencies, and credit boards' (Bourne 1991). Development finance is needed to provide additional financial capital to remove or at least relax the savings constraint on physical capital accumulation. Development banks are there to assist with any matter that arises. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have combined with the Government of Grenada to mainstream disaster risk reduction into the reconstruction process following the devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan in Grenada in September 2004. The Caribbean Development bank intervenes when there is any natural disaster that may affect the economy of any country within the Caribbean region. They participants assisted in drafting a Policy and Guiding Principles for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into the reconstruction process. (Caribank 2005) In partnership with the public and private sectors, CDB will seek to balance the undertakings and initiatives of all the performers in the overall private sector development effort for CDB's BMCs, particularly in areas where there is demonstrable market failure. According to CDB private sector development strategy 2004, stated that CDB support business and product development by providing financing and TA for development of new businesses and products, expansion of existing enterprises and building institutional and enterprise size. This includes the provisions of finance for both public and private sector investment to maintain and improve economic and social infrastructure. The CDB's strategic objective for private sector development in the borrowing member countries, is to improve the global competitiveness of the Region's productive sector on a sustainable basis and reposition Caribbean economies into the mainstream of the world economy. These are the development banks are doing and should be doing to develop developing countries. By now there is an ever-expanding body of evidence that suggests countries with better developed financial systems experience faster economic growth (Levine, 1997 and 2005). More recent evidence also suggests financial development not only stimulates growth, but also develops the distribution of income. Better developed banks and markets are associated with faster growth is also confirmed by panel and time-series estimation techniques. This research also shows that financial sector development facilitates economic growth through more efficient resource distribution and productivity growth rather than through the scale of investment or savings mobilization. (worldbank 2005) China is often mentioned as a counterexample to the findings in finance and growth literature since despite weaknesses in its formal banking system, China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world (Allen, Qian, and Qian 2005), and development banks are playing an integral role in development countries by helping with basic infrastructure and assisting with the development of enterprises.

CONCLUSION

A credit union is a co-operative financial institution, which is owned and controlled by its members. With the establishing of the credit unions league headed by Father John Peter Sullivan, the Movement now had an organization whose objectives included: representing its members by contacting the Government about issues such as legislation, conducting central business services, receiving deposits from Credit Unions and other Co-operative Societies, making loans to its member credit unions and also to undertake investments for the member credit unions by organizing new credit unions. Credit unions are known to encourage saving habit, they provide low transaction cost too which is required to mobilize a great number of small voluntary savings accounts, offering a wide variety of savings services. They also have sound institutional controls and structures that are needed to accompany saving mobilization. The Development Bank of Jamaica was governed by the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the board members, which was appointed by the Ministry. They invested in the agricultural, manufacturing, tourism, agro-processing, quarrying and mining and services sectors. They also play a critical role in non-credit activities principally with respect to the upgrading of the People's Cooperative Banks as well as providing assistance to a number of sub-sectors which have faced difficulties. With these roles the development banks seeks to endorse economics development within the developing countries. Development finance is needed to provide additional financial capital to remove or at least relax the savings constraint on physical capital accumulation. Development banks are there to assist with any matter that arises. Better developed banks and markets are associated with faster growth is also confirmed by panel and time-series estimation techniques. This research also shows that financial sector development facilitates economic growth through more efficient resource distribution and productivity growth rather than through the scale of investment or savings mobilization.
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