In 1976. The Bahamas Union of Teachers Executive Committee sought to investigate ways and means of propelling the membership towards greater financial security and economic stability. Presented with this alternative, the Credit Union' idea, they explored the philosophy: "People helping people to help themselves."
Being satisfied that this was the way forward, the executive drafted the necessary Bye-laws embracing the Credit Union Philosophy. Application for registration was made to the Department of Co-operative Development in 1976. On February 14, 1977, The Bahamas Union of Teachers Co-operative Credit Union was officially registered under the Co-operative Societies Act of 1974.
We started with twelve (12) members and in April 1977, the first deposit of Ninety Dollars ($90.00) was made to the Credit Union's bank account. Four months later, the first loans were made to members.
In February 1982, the name of the Credit Union was changed from Bahamas Union of Teachers Co-operative Credit Union Limited to Teachers and Salaried Workers Co-operative Credit Union Limited (TSWCCUL), opening the membership bond to all persons employed in The Bahamas. Once a person is earning a salary, they are eligible to join.
Teachers and Salaried Workers Co-operative Credit Union Limited has experienced tremendous growth during the past thirty-seven (37) years:
- In October 1982, Total Assets surpassed the One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00) mark.
- In March 1984, we moved from rented facilities to our own newly renovated building on Jerome Avenue.
- April 1987, all accounts were computerized.
- February 1990, the Student Program was introduced.
- During the nineties ('90s) TSWCCUL sought to expand its operations and benefits to the Family Islands, opening branches in Marsh Harbour, Abaco in 1992 and Freeport, Grand Bahama in 1997.
- In 1998, a $3.5 million Administration Building was opened at the junction of Independence Drive and East Street. This building was featured on a special commemorative stamp issued in June 2000 in recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the Co-operative Movement in our country.
- In April 2007, our $2.45 Million Freeport Office/Complex Building and property, West Atlantic Drive was officially opened.
- In May 2007, we achieved the singular distinction of being the first Institution of this type in The Bahamas to surpass the One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00) mark in Total Assets. This milestone is no mean achievement, particularly when viewed against the back-drop of our humble beginnings of a first deposit of a mere ninety dollars ($90.00).
- Our Audited Financial Statements as of December 31, 2007 revealed that Total Assets stood at One Hundred and Nine Million, Three Hundred and Sixteen Thousand and Sic Hundred and Sixty-six Dollars ($109,316,660.00). This figure represents 15% increase over the previous year's total of $95,045,413.00. As of December 31, 2008 the Total Assets stood at $113,901,748.05.
- Over the past five years our business has grown at an average annual rate of 15.2%, outstripping all other Societies in the Sector and the overall Bahamian economy which on average, over the same period, grew at approximately 4% annually.
- The overall Loan Portfolio grew by 19% over the 2006 level of $55,839,536.00 and reached a total of $66,545,881.00. Demand for our core consumer and mortgage loans remained strong during the year and we are especially proud of the number of members we assisted to become homeowners, particularly those who acquired a home for the first time.
- The staff has grown from one in 1978 to a combined compliment of sixty-four (64) qualified Bahamian employees.
- During September 2007, the Credit Union converted to a new software system, at a cost in excess of $200,000.00. Supported for the previous system will soon be withdrawn. The new system offers a much simpler environment to work in as it is windows based and runs off servers as opposed to main-frame. The transition was rather seamless and the new system now makes member transactions much easier. It also contains enhanced member identification features that serve as a safeguard against fraud and the ever increasing problem of identity theft.
- The Mangrove Cay, Andros office officially opened by Minister Lawrence Cartwright, May 2009.
- May 2010 marked the official opening of Teachers and Salaried Workers Co-operative Credit Union Business Complex in Nassau adjacent to our Head Office.
- At the end of 2013, the credit union grew by 8.17% as total assets increased by $12,969,847 from $158,825,330 at the end of 2013 to $171,795,177. Our net loan portfolio also grew by some 1.03% from $99,913,638 at the end of December 2012 to $199,942,819 at December 2013.
- We also realized a net income of $1,088,094 for the year ended 2013. This represented an increase of 162.45% over the level of $414,597 attained for the previous year, 2012.
- On February 14, 2014 we celebrated our 37th Anniversary.
- Our ATM card was rolled out to the members in New Providence on February 14, 2014. Freeport and Abaco are in the process of being rolled-out and should be completed by December 2014.
- The official opening of our Central Pines Shopping and Business Complex located in Marsh Harbour, Abaco took place on April 11th, 2014.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
As we move into our fourth decade of existence the Board and Management remain confident of the continued growth of the business. While the current slowing of the global economy is a cause for concern, with prudent fiscal management at the individual and institutional level, we will successfully navigate through this period of turbulence.
Toward this end, members are urged to be pragmatic in their borrowing habits and to ensure they do not commit themselves beyond their ability to respond. Our members are also urged to take advantage of our high yield savings products as a safety net to unforeseen occurrences.
During March of 2012, we also revised our Strategic Plan for the business for the next six (6) years. The plan underscores the need for the following:
- Increasing the services at all of our offices.
- Providing new services to meet the diverse needs of our membership base.
- Investing in new technologies such online banking, automated teller machines and loans via the internet.
- Continuing to serve the under served in our Family Island Communities.
Together over the past three (3) decades, we have built a strong, viable financial institution that is not only the finest of its type in this country, but also one that is a model for the rest of the region. With the continued support of our members, we stand poised to catapult this great institution of ours into the next three (3) decades and beyond.
Our focus remains the same since our inception, "People helping people to help themselves".
Our watch words: Safety and Soundness.
"We Are Big Enough To Serve, Small Enough To Care"