The Church of God Mission Board, the first credit union to establish itself in Puerto Rico in more than a decade, opened recently in the northern town of Dorado, joining the prosperous cooperative movement.
“This is the first credit union to open in the past 13 years because for more than a decade, all of Puerto Rico’s economic sectors have felt the pressures and constraints of the international monetary reality,” said Daniel Rodríguez-Collazo, president of the Corporation for the Supervision and Insurance of Puerto Rico Cooperatives, known as COSSEC in Spanish.
“I feel confident, however, that this opening is the result of the support that this administration has offered the island’s cooperative movement,” he said. “We all know that the cooperative movement has historically proven to be a great tool for economic development and job creation for the island, but more so in recent times when it has shown remarkable economic strength, even in times of great economic slowdown.”
Offering the latest figures available for the sector, Rodríguez-Collazo said Puerto Rico’s co-ops have some $8.3 billion in assets, representing the highest figure in the past five years, as well as $2.6 billion in capital spread among the island’s 115 certified co-ops.
The figures reveal a 3.1 percent year-over-year increase in total assets, a 2.8 percent jump in total liabilities, a 4 percent increase in loan capacity, a 3.7 percent increase in working capital, a 1.5 percent increase in approved loans so far this year, a 3.5 percent increase in shares and deposits and a 1.6 percent increase in direct jobs.
“So far in 2013, a total of 924,733 residents have been certified to enjoy the large portfolio of benefits offered by the island’s cooperatives, versus 899,611 registered in 2012, an increase of 25,122 more than last year,” he said. “This, despite the fact that the island is experiencing one of the worst economic crises in its history, a crisis that we have endured for the past eight years.”
COSSEC will be conducting an analysis of the investment portfolios of cooperatives using the Bloomberg System, to provide recommendations that respond to current market conditions. This information will provide co-ops strategies to be more successful in their investments, so they can lock down continued growth through the end of 2013.
The new Church of God Mission Board credit union is located on Route 142 in Dorado’s Espinoza Ward, Los Romanes sector.