Gateway credit union records surplus of $133 million
Gateway Co-operative Credit Union (2017) Limited, which was formed from the merger of the Hanover and Montego co-operative credit unions less than two years ago, is reporting a surplus of $133 million for the 2017-2018 financial year.
Speaking at the annual general meeting (AGM) held at the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in St James recently, Gateway's President Lambert Johnson told shareholders that the financial institution, which began its operations on January 3, 2017, grew its assets from $6.1 billion to $7 billion.
"While inflation rate was 5.2 per cent last year and foreign exchange rate was stable, with economic growth in the region of about 1.5 per cent, and having regards to the fact that we operate in a very competitive environment, for 2017, we were able to put out a healthy surplus of $133 million," he said.
There was also a 13 per cent growth in savings, with $4.88 billion at the start of January 2017 to $5.4 billion in December. For loans, Gateway doubled the average of 12.6 per cent in the credit union movement to an increase of 25.6 per cent, totalling $4.12 billion, with an additional $2 billion under investment.
"So what I am here to tell you today is that Gateway, your credit union, is as solid as a rock," the president declared. "We have taken a sales approach at Gateway, so we have money to lend, so you need to borrow, borrow, borrow."
Gateway Co-operative Credit Union serves the entire county of Cornwall, which means that the bond of the new institution will include the parishes of Trelawny, Westmoreland, and St Elizabeth, along with Hanover and St James.
The Hanover branch of the Gateway Cooperative Credit Union is located on Main Street in Lucea. Formerly the Hanover Cooperative Credit Union, it was established by the late educator Enid Watson Gonsalves in 1975 in an effort to encourage thrift among the citizens of Hanover.
The St James branch of Gateway consists of two locations, one at Sam Sharpe Square and the other at Church Street. Formerly the Montego Cooperative Credit Union, it was formed out of a merger between St Paul's and St James Credit Union in 1969.