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Toledo Teacher's Credit Union

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Vision Statement

Toledo Teachers Credit Union will be the preferred, entrusted and model credit union in Belize providing world class financial services, utilizing sound financial practices, ensuring good governance while maintaining financial stability and ensuring continuous growth.

Mission Statement

Toledo Teachers Credit Union is a viable, innovative, socially responsible and transparent financial institution that provides the most efficient, reliable, convenient and competitive financial services to its member-owners and community through education, the use of modern technology, good governance and sound financial management practices.


OPENING HOURS

Monday & Tuesday 8:30 through to 3 PM
Wednesday & Friday 8:30 through to 4 Pm
Saturday 8:30 to 11:30 AM
Closed for Business on Thursdays

website: http://www.ttcupg.com 

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Organizational Philosophy

TTCU has adopted the following value statements, which are grounded in 10 core values. These
value statements are about how the credit union values its members, customers, suppliers, and staff.
These statements describe actions which are the living enactment of the fundamental values held by most individuals within the credit union.

  • Commitment: To achieve the Credit Union’s mission.
  • Integrity & Honesty: In conducting all aspects of Credit Union’s business
  • Accountability: At all levels of operations conducted by Governing Committees, Employees
    and Members.
  • Visionary: In the overall development of the Credit Union
  • Empowering: Members financially, staff professionally and providing autonomy in decision
    making to Governing Committees.
  • Stewardship: By Governing Committees, Staff and Members in effectively managing the
     resources of the credit union.
  • Teamwork: As a key ingredient for success of the Credit Union.
  • Excellence: In the provision of services.
  • Equity: In the making and implementing of decisions
  • Professionalism: In conducting Credit Union business.

HISTORY OF THE TOLEDO TEACHERS CREDIT UNION

Toledo Teachers Credit Union is the brain child of Mr. Anthony Fuentes, then President of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), Toledo Rural Branch. Mr. Fuentes saw the need for improved financial services for teachers working in the remote villages, since they experienced difficulties as a result of having only one financial institution operating in Toledo District.

Mr. Fuentes started to agitate for the establishment of a credit union in early 2000. He sensitized teachers on the importance of establishing a credit union primarily to meet the needs of teachers, but also to meet the needs of the wider community. Consequently, he invited Mr. Leopoldo Romero, veteran credit unionist and then employee of St. Francis Xavier Credit Union to give a presentation to the teachers of Toledo on the benefits and intricacies of a credit union. This presentation was held in September 2000. Teachers’ interest grew dramatically and they requested another presentation. The second presentation was held in October 2000 and at the end of the presentation the teachers unanimously agreed to form a steering committee that would lead the process of getting the credit union organized and formalized.

The Steering Committee agreed to employ Mr. Leopoldo Romero as manager and on November 1, 2000 he started to work, but on a voluntary basis. Since there was no office or other infrastructure, Mr. Romero initially performed his duties out of the house of Mrs. Olga Garcia and his personal vehicle. On November 24, 2000, Mr. Romero and the Steering Committee held a membership drive at the Central Park in Punta Gorda Town. At the end of the day, 87 members had joined and contributed $7,887.50. With these funds the first bank account was opened at the Belize Bank, Punta Gorda Town. In December 2000, the Cooperative Department allowed the fledgling organization to operate from a small space within its Punta Gorda office. By the end of that month
loans were being offered to members.

In 2001, operations continued from out of the Cooperative Department office while members of the Steering Committee and the Manager vigorously pursued various avenues to obtain an office. In May 2001, the credit union was registered and during that same month the first annual general meeting was held. At this meeting, dividends of 5% were paid to members and the first Board of Directors, Credit Committee and supervisory Committee were elected. Mr. Oscar Requena was elected president of the Board of Directors while Mr. Anthony Fuentes was elected Chairman of the 7 Credit Committee; and Mr. Telesforo Paquil, elected as Chairman of the Supervisory Committee.

During the meeting, the then Minister with responsibility for credit unions, Mr. Dan Silva pledged his full support for the Toledo Teachers Credit Union. He also donated a computer and committed that the Government of Belize would pay the salary of the Manager who had up to this time continued to work on a voluntary basis. The first financial year of operations ended with the new credit union having 233 members, $60,891.00 in shares and $188,435.00 in loans.

As the demand for its services, and with it the work of the credit union increased, management saw the need to employ more staff members; however the lack of funds was a prohibitive factor. Consequently the Manager encouraged his daughter, Gabrielle Romero to work voluntarily as a clerk. She commenced working in November 2001. In January 2002, a proposal was submitted to the Government for a loan and the next three months saw serious lobbying to secure the funds as well as a parcel of land to build an office. The efforts paid off. In April 2002, the Government disbursed $160,000.00 in loan funds to the credit union and committed to giving a grant of $70,000.00 in two disbursements. The Government also committed to giving a lease for a parcel of land on Queen Street, Punta Gorda Town for the construction of an office building. The lease was
obtained in July 2002 and in October 2002, the construction of the office building commenced after the signing of a contract with contractor, Mr. Joaquin Aldana.

The funding received from the Government of Belize served as a significant injection that provided much needed stimulus. Nevertheless, there was still the need for hard cash to provide loans and services to the members and to meet other needs of the credit union. Therefore, in January 2003, the credit union approached the CARD Project, a development organization, for funding for institutional strengthening and a micro-financing scheme. Funds were obtained from the CARD Project for institutional strengthening in February 2004 and earmarked for salaries and the purchase of much needed office furniture and equipment as well as a motor vehicle.

The CARD funding allowed the credit union to meet its infrastructural and service delivery needs and with the inauguration of a brand new office building in March 2003 the credit union was poised to become a formidable player within the credit union environment. It was this recognition that no doubt the Belize Credit Union League (BCUL) made note of and in October 2003 awarded the Toledo Teachers Credit Union, “the Credit Union of the Year Award”. Subsequent years saw the 8 credit union receiving three other awards as follows: Manager of the Year Award in October 2004; Officer of the Year Award in October 2005 and Employee of the Year Award in October 2007.

The ensuing years after 2003 saw the Credit Union grow exponentially as new sources of funding were made available. As a result, new services and opportunities were made available to members and new staff positions were created. In 2004, three new staff positions were created namely, teller, cashier, and micro-financing officer positions in anticipation of a line of credit of from the CARD Project which was received in two disbursements as follows: $125,000.00 in December 2004 and $180,000.00 in January of 2005. In November 2006, another teller was hired and in April 2007 a credit officer, a delinquency control officer and an additional teller were hired in trying to meet the demands of the work; and in preparation for the receipt of 347,000 euros in funding from the European Union (EU) which was received in July 2007.

Since the funding from the European Union was earmarked for a micro-financing scheme in the banana belt (northern Toledo District), the credit union started to prepare for expansion into that area. As a result, negotiations began for the acquisition of land in Bella Vista Village. The land was obtained in October 2007 and in November 2007 construction of the branch office commenced.

The branch office was inaugurated five months later in April 2008, and was staffed with a branch manager and three personnel. Three months later, in July 2008 the credit union received a disbursement of 77,000 euros from Planet Finance, again for the banana belt, thereby enabling the credit union to solidify its presence in the area. The property (branch office) in Bella Vista brought the amount of properties owned by the credit union to six; including its main office property in Punta Gorda Town, a concrete building and property (formerly the DFC Office in Punta Gorda Town) which was purchased in February 2007
and 3 lots in Benque Viejo Town near the proposed free zone, purchased in August 2008.

Over the almost nine years of existence, the Toledo Teachers Credit Union has made great strides. Starting with 87 members in 2000, it now has 5300 members in February 2009. Its last audited financial statements for year ended March 2008 showed that total assets amounted to $8,455,203.00. The Toledo Teachers Credit Union continues to grow and provide quality financial services to its members and other stakeholders.

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Additional information

Contact

Queen Street
P O BOX 95
Punta Gorda Town
Toledo District, BELIZE, C. A.

Phone: (501) 722 2522
Fax: (501) 722 0056