About the Spanish Lookout Credit Union
To provide financial services for the residents of Spanish Lookout in a prudent and efficient manner
Growth & Development
For over 50 years Farmers’ Trading Center (FTC) has been the main provider of many of the community’s financial needs. As the businesses and the community grew, so have their need for an adequate provider of financial goods and services. With the creation of the Spanish Lookout Credit Union Limited (SLCU), a more functional alternative for the community to conduct its financial operations became available. The SLCU continues to offer similar services as FTC, and the goal is to offer more, and even better, financial services, quality customer service, affordable rates and many other benefits to its members and its community.
The SLCU aims to continuously ensure member-awareness of products and services and making information about product/services easily accessible. The SLCU is welcoming and open, and is highly respected in the community. It will ensure that service prices take into consideration members’ budgets, so that members can appreciate its services and its mission, and in the process fully satisfying their financial needs.
SLCU vision is one of continuous and optimum growth; having analytical ability, value-added service, competitive rates, high standards of quality, ongoing adaptability to changes in the market and its operations. The SLCU will build on mutually beneficial relationships; developing so that the members can grow as the company grows, establishing good business relationships with all the relevant government agencies and private institutions that may, in turn, add to its integrity and future development.
A credit union is an entity “registered with specific powers to promote thrift, enterprise and cooperative principles among its members, to pool financial resources of its members and to provide needed lending, investment and other financial services to them” (Credit Unions Act, Chapter 314 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003).
Governance is a system designed to control and distribute power within a credit union (Credit Union Governance White Paper, WOCCU 2005). The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) elaborates further:
“Corporate governance involves a set of relationships between an organization’s management, its board, its shareholders and other stakeholders. Corporate governance also provides the structure through which the objectives of an organization are set, and the means of attaining those objectives and monitoring performance are determined”.
The World Council for Credit Unions (WOCCU) subscribes to a three-part system of governance for credit unions, namely external, internal and individual governance, which will be adopted by SLCU:
External governance covers the issues that credit unions face as participants in the financial marketplace. As financial institutions, credit unions are expected to operate in a transparent manner, comply with regulatory and prudential standards and be held accountable to the public.
Internal governance defines the responsibilities and accountability of the general assembly, the Board of Directors (BOD), the General Manager and the staff of credit unions. These responsibilities include achieving an appropriate governing structure, preserving the continuity of future credit union operations, creating balance within the organization and remaining accountable for their actions.
Individual governance ensures that credit unions obtain directors and management who are able to fulfill the two previous obligations of external and internal governance through integrity, competence and commitment. By adhering to the principles of this three-part model of external, internal and individual governance, credit unions can better achieve their ultimate goal of bringing affordable, quality financial services to people in Belize (Credit Union Governance White Paper, WOCCU 2005)”.
Rules of governance establish systems for internal control and oversight to address problems before external supervision is required. They include role and fiscal responsibility guidelines for the general assembly, BOD, internal auditor and management. Credit unions must also exercise the governance standards of transparency, compliance and accountability to maintain public confidence (Technical Guide Credit Union Regulation and Supervision, WOCCU).