GIS – 26 August, 2019: A one-day workshop aiming to sensitise Cooperative Credit Unions (CCUs) on the topic, Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism, was held, today, at the National Cooperative College in Bois-Marchand. The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, was present.
In his address, the Minister informed that CCUs are financial co-operatives providing mainly savings/deposits and credit facilities to their members at reasonable rates of interests. He outlined that there are 151 credit unions in Mauritius and Rodrigues with some 64, 000 members which generate a turnover of around Rs 2.9 billion each year. These statistics show that credit unions occupy a niche which is expanding over time and is evolving as an alternative to other financial institutions, he observed.
On this score, Minister Bholah underlined that CCUs must be guided by a set of principles as regards cooperation and values of equality and mutual self-help since they are democratic and member-owned financial institutions. More models of credit union, he said, should be replicated for the welfare of impoverished people as each member of the society has equal rights when it comes to economic democracy and repayment conditions.
Moreover, Mr Bholah spoke about the importance of the new cooperatives legislation. For him, it provides for a reformed, modern and appropriate legislative framework for the cooperative sector to respond to the needs of the cooperative movement in the dynamic economic situation and globalisation era, in particular with regard to good governance and transparency.
The Minister also emphasised the need to provide capacity-building programmes for staffs and internal controllers of CCUs as well as issuing guidelines on money laundering to all Credit Unions. The staff must be apprised of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing and should be able to identify and deal with potential money laundering or terrorist financing transactions. He concluded by reiterating Government’s efforts in fighting money laundering and malpractices at the centre of credit unions.
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