By Linda Straker
As of June 2015, credit unions in Grenada which were previously exempted from paying an annual licensing fee will join the list of money services operators that will be required to pay a licensing fee to the Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions (GARFIN).
“We started discussions with credit unions two years ago, and therefore it’s not something that they can say we sprang on them. We had lots of discussions, and the new licensing fee will come into effect as of this year,” said Denis Felix, Manager of the Non-bank Credit and Money Services Supervision Department at GARFIN.
The fees, which appeared in the 17 April Government Gazette, are described in Statutory Rules and Orders 8 of 2015: Cooperative Societies (Credit Union Fees) Regulations.
“Where a credit union fails to pay its annual license fees on or before the 30th June in any year, there shall be a late penalty fee of 5% of the amount due for each month or part thereof that the annual licence fee remains outstanding,” says the regulations. The annual licensing fees range from EC$1,000 to EC$10,000 and are outlined as follows:
|Where total assets at last audited balance sheet are:||Annual Fee Payable|
|Less than or equal to $1 milllion||$1,000|
|Greater than $1 million but less than or equal to $10 million||$1,500|
|Greater than $10 million but less than or equal to $50 million||$3,000|
|Greater than $50 million but less than or equal to $100 million||$5,000|
|Greater than $100 million||$10,000|
The SRO was signed by Cooperative Minister Oliver Joseph. The Cooperative Societies Act of 2011 provides for the Minister of Cooperative to make regulations for the sector. Insurance Companies, Money service transfers and banks are already required to pay an annual fee GARFIN.