Despite not receiving one expression of interest following a notice printed in the Government Gazette will regards to the status of more than 100 friendly societies, the Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions will be placing more notices in local newspapers before the minister is ask to dissolve these societies.
Denis Felix, Manager of Non bank Credit Institutions and Money services Supervision Department at GARFIN said that these Friendly Societies continue to be on the book of the registrar and most of them are apparently defunct.
“We are cleaning up the books and we want to make sure that they are no longer in existence, as they appear to be not functioning based on the records. Once we have all reasons to believe that these societies are no longer actively functioning, we will make the necessary submission to Cabinet for their dissolution,” he said.
According to the notice some of the friendly societies were registered in the early 1900s. “It was period in our time when people will make these monthly or weekly small contributions to save for themselves for different purposes. The contribution could have been as low as ten cents but over time that will mean much to them,” he explained.
Research has shown that some of these societies not only acted similar to current credit unions to bring financial and other benefits to members but some of them invested in properties and lands. Though these societies are not operational there can be assets in their names.
“So all of that will have to cleared up before us at GARFIN makes the recommendation to dissolve a friendly society,” Felix said.
According to the legislation which established GARFIN, the number of entities which are subject to the supervision of regulatory body are those establish in accordance with the Insurance Act; Cooperative Societies Act; International Companies Act; Building Societies Act; Friendly Society Act; Money Services Business Act; Grenada Development Bank; Offshore Banking Act; International Betting Act; International Insurance Act and the Company Management Act.
by Linda Straker