Under the Co-Operative Societies Act, 2023, the Anguilla Financial Services Commission is designated as the Registrar of credit unions. The Act defines a credit union as a co-operative society organised by a group of people with a shared goal for provident and productive purposes by providing co-operatively pooled financial services to its members, including savings and lending business. It is an offence for a person to carry on the business of a co-operative society unless it is registered in accordance with the Act.
Persons wishing to form and operate a credit union in Anguilla must file an application with the Commission for approval.
A co-operative society including a credit union, must conform to the following co-operative principles —:
- each member or delegate, other than in a secondary or tertiary co-operative society, has no more than 1 vote;
- no member or delegate is entitled to vote by proxy;
- wits membership is open, voluntary and available without any artificial restriction or any unlawful basis of discrimination, to any person who can use its services and is willing to accept the responsibility of membership;
- its business is carried on primarily as an economic activity for the benefit of its members;
- its rates of interest on loans and its fees for services and products are not exorbitant when compared to commercial banks and other for-profit entities;
- its primary concerns are its institutional capacity and financial strength, including adequate reserves, retained earnings and internal systems designed to ensure continuous growth and service to members;
- it utilises any surplus or savings arising out of its operations—
- to strengthen its business,
- to provide or improve common services to its members,
- for the payment of dividends on permanent ownership capital purchased by its members at a rate it thinks fit,
- for redistribution among its members in proportion to the business done by each member with the co-operative society,
- to educate its members, employees, directors, committee members and the general public in the principles and techniques of economic and democratic cooperation, and
- for non-profit, charitable, benevolent or cultural purposes;
- it pursues co-operation with other co-operative societies;
- it provides for continuing education and training; and
- it contributes to the social and economic development of its community.
Application and other requirements including conditions for registration and capital requirements are outlined in the Act.