GB Credit Union expands, opens branch in Port Lucaya

NEW BRANCH – The Grand Bahama Cooperative Credit Union held a ceremony for the grand opening of its Port Lucaya branch of Wednesday, September 26. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, K. Peter Turnquest (standing second right back row) joined young and old union members Philip Carey, Shirley Weech and GBCCU Chairman Kaylesa Simmons (right) for the ribbon cutting. (PHOTO: JENNEVA RUSSELL)

The Grand Bahama Co-Operative Credit Union (GBCCU) celebrated its 38th Anniversary and the opening of a second branch in the Port Lucaya Marketplace, with a special ceremony on Wednesday (September 26).

Deputy Prime Minister K. Peter Turnquest, Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama, who served as the featured speaker noted that the new branch signals the hope of a great chapter in the island’s history.

He commended GBCCU staff on their continued standard of excellent service and hard work and congratulated them on the expansion.

Turnquest noted that credit unions were created for the benefit of the people rather than its own financial gain.
“They offer high interest on savings and low interest on loans,” he said.

He added that this differs from most banks that have an interest in their customers’ money, but not their customers.

Turnquest furthered that the GBCCU also sets itself apart with its emphasis on teaching their customers financial planning so they can learn that money is a tool to be utilized properly.

He noted that the expansion in location will hopefully entail the expansion in their services along with a contribution to the growth of the local economy.

“Things will not automatically move in Grand Bahama, it takes people with dreams and plans,” he said.

He added that it also takes a commitment to seeing those plans to fruition. This new location exemplifies that.
Several government officials and members of corporate Grand Bahama attended the ceremony, including Senator Jasmine Turner-Dareus, Deputy Director of Urban Renewal Grand Bahama, who congratulated the GBCCU on its accomplishments.

“The fact that a financial institution is being opened up in Grand Bahama means the entire island is about to grow,” she said.

Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Works and Member of Parliament Iram Lewis also gave remarks during the ceremony.

He echoed Dareus’ sentiments about the GBCCU’s belief in the improvement of Grand Bahama’s economy.

“This is a visionary move by a revolutionary institution,” he said.

He added that the opening of a second branch is a bold move and sets an example for other shareholders to be just as bold in their faith in Grand Bahama’s economy.

Deann Seymour, Chief Financial Officer of the Grand Bahama Port Authority also congratulated the GBCCU on behalf of the GBPA.

Alva Henfield GBCCU Compliance Officer spoke to this daily about the union’s future at the new branch. She stated that opening of the office, which will employ about 14 persons, shows a leap of faith in the Grand Bahama economy.

“This is almost like a leap of faith, we did it with anticipation and expectation that the economy of Grand Bahama is going to grow and be revitalized and we wanted to be proactive in our efforts to be a part of that growth and revitalization process,” she said.

Henfield revealed that the GBCCU also hopes to increase their membership base and they have a few products in the works to do so.

She noted that the GBCCU has about 2800 members.

Henfield explained what persons must do in order to become members of the GBCCU.

To become a member, persons need to bring in their valid passport, national insurance card and a utility bill no older than six months.

“The minimum to open your account is $101.60,” she said.

She informed that the GBCCU provides financial services without the “red tape” or complications. The Grand Bahama Co-operative Credit Union Limited is one of the nation’s most progressive credit unions with an annually increasing asset.

“We invite anybody to come out and join and be a part of the Credit Union,” she said.

Henfield informed that when a person becomes a member of the credit union they become a part owner.

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