NCB Employees Co-operative Credit Union is now the National and Community Co-operative Credit Union, NCCCU, a name change befitting the repositioning of the organisation to serve an expanded membership pool, says General Manager Patricia Tomlinson.
Formed in 1992, NCCCU now has assets of $2.33 billion and membership of 6,538, putting it in the lower tier of medium-sized credit unions in Jamaica that have assets ranging between $2 billion and $10 billion. Eight of the existing 26 community banks fit that criteria.
Tomlinson is looking to grow NCCCU’s membership base, which was previously limited by the terms of its bond to catering only to employees of National Commercial Bank Jamaica and their relatives.
The bond was revised to accept members from among any financial institution. And now it has been opened up even further to include any member of the public that has an account with a financial institution.
Tomlinson wants to double the present membership in three years.
“We’ve set a very aggressive target. We are aiming to grow membership to about 13,000 by 2026. We feel those numbers are attainable and will put us in a great position in terms of performance,” she told the Financial Gleaner at the recent unveiling of the credit union’s new logo.
The plans to expand come amid a serious downturn in earnings at the credit union. Last year, National made a surplus of $3.57 million, but it was a steep fall-off from $15.68 million earned in 2021 and one-tenth the $33.36 million profit recorded a decade ago, in 2013.
However, the credit union achieved its highest-ever net interest income – that is, core revenue minus expenses – of $157.31 million at the end of 2022. To turn the tide on NCCCU’s declining profitability, Tomlinson says the credit union will be introducing new products and marketing the new brand.
The first of the new offerings was rolled out in September. The so-called ‘50/50’ loans and savings product allows members to borrow twice the amount held in their savings account. The repayment arrangement also has a savings component attached to it.
NCCCU operates a single office, which was relocated in April from the building housing the NCB Half-Way Tree bank branch in Kingston, where it was based since inception, to newly developed space at Hillcrest Avenue. It also has business development officers operating in central Jamaica from Mandeville, and western Jamaica from Montego Bay. And most of its dealings with members are facilitated through online channels.
That operational structure will remain as is. There are plans to add new branches, Tomlinson said.