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Kingston… October 5, 2017---

COURTESY CALL ON SHAW 2

Minister of Finance & Public Service, the Hon. Audley Shaw at the head table, left of the Minister is Executive Director of Transformation, Mrs. Maria Thompson-Walters. (L-R) FHC C.E.O Ms. Roxann Linton, A.GM Retail, Sales & Service, Mrs. Saint Beverley Tomlinson, Branch Manager, Eureka Ripon, Mrs. Jacqueline Pingue-Smith.

CEO of First Heritage Credit Union Ltd, Ms. Roxann Linton and Finance Minister Audley Shaw yesterday found common ground about the need to facilitate greater access to more affordable and flexible financing for Jamaica’s productive sectors.

Discussing Jamaica’s thrust for economic reform, including the pursuit of single digit inflation, both parties agreed to a closer working partnership to fuel the aspirations and entrepreneurial spirit of Jamaicans in the productive sectors with greatest untapped potential.

The courtesy call, scheduled to coincide with the start of Credit Union Week also encompassed wide-ranging discussions, including opportunities for economic growth, public sector transformation and the evolving role of financial institutions.
There was agreement between the public and private sector leaders on the need to incorporate a wider range of partners as government moves to transform itself from working in silos to more collaborative solutions. The FHC head indicated that discussions have already taken place with the Jamaica Business Development Corporation to support members with the development of bankable business plans. For his part, Minister Shaw committed to deepening discussions with the Ministries of Agriculture and Tourism to provide the technical support for business development in these growth areas.

According to Ms. Linton, with FHC’s member base of more than 200,000 and approximately half that number being Public Sector workers, the Credit Union is repositioning to strengthen its ability to support the aspirations of a wide cross section of Jamaicans. “We are uniquely positioned to help a broad cross section of Jamaicans to actualize their financial independence, through the development of more innovative financial products where most needed.” she concluded.

The party also reflected on Mr. Shaw’s charge at the 5th Anniversary Service in Manchester in mid-August. At that time, Minister Shaw, who is responsible for spearheading the impending Government of Jamaica GOJ regulations for Credit Unions in Jamaica, assured the FHC team that the impending regulations are not to weaken the movement, but strengthen it by empowering its unquietness and identifying the different characters from that of the commercial banks to preserve the credit union.

At that time, he also lauded the FHC on achieving an asset base of over $10B and a loan portfolio of approximately $7B since the merger. He charged the Credit Union to continue to pursue excellence and not just lend, but to educate their members to become savvy, spend responsibly and invest wisely.

In hosting the FHC team, Minister Shaw was supported by the State Minister with responsibility for the Public Sector, Rudyard Spencer, and Executive Director/Transformation, Mrs. Maria Thompson-Walters.

The FHC team also included Mrs. Saint Beverly Tomlinson, Assistant General Manager – Retail, Sales & Service and Branch Manager for the flagship Eureka/Ripon Branch, Mrs. Jacqueline Pingue Smith.

ABOUT FHC

On August 1, 2012, Churches Co-operative Credit Union and GSB Co-operative Credit Union merged to form the new entity First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited (FHC). This decision culminated the process of discussions that began in October 2010 when the idea of the amalgamation of the two Credit Unions was born.

With a combined heritage of over 100 years, First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited now stands as the largest open bond Credit Union in Jamaica. A merger of this magnitude was the first of its kind in the history of the Credit Union movement.

On March 1, 2015, the business and operations of
St. Thomas Co-operative Credit Union Limited was transferred to FHC. This merger was borne out of a mutual strategic vision of expanding Agriculture/Micro and Small Business lending to assist farmers and cultivate entrepreneurship across rural Jamaica. Our members, from the former St. Thomas branch will now have access to a suite of over forty-two products and services to meet every stage of life. This merger makes St. Thomas branch the eleventh location which will facilitate the growth and expansion of agricultural lending not only in St. Thomas, but across the country, ultimately positively impacting the industry as well as the economy.

FHC has as its bond, all civil servants, staff within Statutory Bodies and Public Corporations, their spouses and relatives, all members of any religious bodies and affiliations in Jamaica and their relatives and persons who live, work and do business in St. Thomas as well as their families. We currently serve over 200,000 members through a network of eleven locations island wide, offering a wide array of products and services. These products are specifically designed to meet the needs of our members at every stage of their lives, whether they are just starting out, or are financially savvy and investment-oriented. Our commitment remains, to generate continual benefits to our members and other stakeholders.

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A LEGACY OF TRANSFORMATION

On August 1, 2012, Churches Co-operative Credit Union and GSB Co-operative Credit Union merged to form the new entity First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited (FHC). This decision culminated the process of discussions that began in October 2010 when the idea of the amalgamation of the two Credit Unions was born.

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