About Credit Unions

Financial Overview

As of November 30, 2020, there were twenty-five (25) Credit Unions in Jamaica. All are members of the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League (JCCUL). Each Credit Union serves a specific community/parish, professional group or association.

The Credit Union’s collective savings, loans and assets as of November 30, 2020 (preliminary) is:

Savings: $104.925 billion
Loans: $90.909 billion
Assets: $136.498 billion

The Credit Union Promise

The first Credit Union in Jamaica was established in the 1940s. As they are owned and controlled by their members, Credit Unions are great for building long-term financial relationships. They provide financial services to enhance the quality of life of each member and to improve their economic independence. As members effectively work together by pooling their resources, the relationship between Credit Unions and their members is built on the people-helping-people philosophy.

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      1. Credit Union members must share a common bond, for example, same profession, same area of residence or same workplace or association. 
      2. Each Credit Union member has one vote. The member has the right to exercise his/her vote at general meetings on matters relating to the management of the Credit Union or Credit Union funds.
      3. Members elect a volunteer Board of Directors and Committees. The Board and the Committees apply policies and management practices to operate the Credit Union and the Membership. The Board also hires a manager to be responsible for the business on a daily basis and to hire staff. However, Credit Unions can be run solely by volunteers, i.e. without staff.


A credit union is a financial co-operative organized, for the sole purpose of providing service to members.
  • The difference is in the structure. Other financial institutions are owned by stockholders who seek to profit from their investment in the organization. Credit unions are owned co-operatively and democratically controlled by all of their members without regard to the amount of money that a member has in the credit union.
  • Credit unions are directed by a Board which is a group of volunteers selected from within the membership.
  • Credit Unions return profits to their members in the form of dividends, competitive loans rates and services.
  • Credit unions do business with their members only.
Currently credit unions are regulated by the Department of Co-operatives & Friendly Societies on behalf of the Government of Jamaica. In the near future credit unions will be regulated by the Bank of Jamaica. JCCUL also has a self-regulatory mechanism in place for credit unions. As the national association for credit unions JCCUL will continue to serve credit unions as mandated by the members.
A credit union accepts deposits from its members and offers to them a range of financial services. Members elect a board of directors at their annual general meeting. The board in turn employs a general manager to manage the day-to-day operations of the credit union. Credit Union members are elected to serve on committees in the credit union including the supervisory committee and the credit committee.
  • A credit union member is a co-owner of the credit union.
  • Each member has equal voting power, (one vote), the same as all other members in the credit union irrespective of the amount of his savings.
  • Each member has the power to exercise his/her democratic right in determining by whom and how the credit union is run.
  • A credit union member shares in any annual surplus.
  • Credit unions now offer a range of financial services, in some instances the same as those available in other financial institutions.
  • Members can determine the type of financial services the credit union should provide
  • Members are helped to save through the habit of thrift that is encouraged by credit unions.
  • Members can save directly and transact business at their credit unions through salary deduction facilities.
  • Life savings and loan protection insurance at no cost to members
Each credit union can serve only those people who are eligible for membership. You are eligible for membership in one or more credit unions based on where you or your family members live, work or worship. This is referred to as the “Common Bond or field of membership.”
A person has to become 16 years of age to qualify for membership in a Credit Union. Some credit unions, however, offer membership at 18 years of age. Persons under 16 years of age can still save with the credit union through their Youth Savings Plans.