Credit Union History

Mission, Values and Principles

Our Mission

To be the leading financial institution providing services that enhance the quality of life of all, consistent with cooperative principles.

Our Values

Our Organization's Values describe the beliefs that guide our behaviour.

  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Loyalty
  • Confidentiality
 Our Cooperative Principles Our Cooperative Values 
  • Voluntary and Open membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training & Information
  • Cooperation among Cooperatives
  • Concern for the Community
  • Self-help
  • Self-responsibility
  • Democracy
  • Equality
  • Equity
  • Solidarity

Brief History of NCCU

Largest Credit Union in the OECS – “One Big Family

The National Cooperative Credit Union Limited (NCCU) emerged from an amalgamation of five credit unions-- La Salette, St Paul, Vieille Case, Roseau and St David’s-- on November 1, 2010.  These credit unions became the first Branches of NCCU "One Big Family". Amalgamation is one approach which has been used successfully by credit unions worldwide to strengthen their institutions.

By  the end of 2017, NCCU had evolved from being the Big 5 (as we were commonly called then) to the Big 7 by accepting the assets and liabilities of the South-Eastern and Castle Bruce Credit Unions. 

NCCU is a financially sound, multimillion dollar institution distinguished as the largest credit union in the OECS. Its 2018 Annual Report records   Share Capital of $5.53M, Members Equity of $61.4M, Assets of $625.7M and a membership of  47,700.

We offer members a complete line of financial services including  savings, deposit  and retirement accounts, loans for all purposes, an international debit card, Online, chequing, audio teller and money transfer services and funeral plans. 

NCCU is one of seven  (7) credit unions currently operating in The Commonwealth of Dominica. 

Sr. Alicia de Tremmerie, a Catholic nun from Belgium, started the  Dominica Credit Union movement in 1951.  The Roseau Co-operative Credit Union Ltd  was the first society to be inaugurated on  May 30, 1951.  

Brief History of the Credit Union Movement

The Start-Europe 

Most people think of credit unions primarily as financial institutions.  But our roots are in the co-operative movement which can be traced back to  Rochdale, England, in 1844. 

Times were harsh in Germany in the mid 19th century and early pioneers like Herman Schulze-Delich and Frederick Raiffeisen experimented with financial cooperatives to help farmers struggling from the effects of economic depression, crop failures,  famine and usury. Raiffeissen is credited with expanding the credit union idea to its fullest potential.  Credit unions were seen as having both an economic and social role providing a  way of building community, teaching and encouraging thrift and self-help. 

Such was the need, the concept of cooperative credit spread quickly to other European countries while still being refined and proven in Germany.  Democratic member control was key to the success of these societies and fundamental credit union operating principals such as one member one vote, granting of loans based on character, payment of dividends, reasonable interest rates on loans were practiced.

The Idea Grows- North America 

The concept crossed the Atlantic to North America and the first credit union was started by a Canadian journalist,  Alphonse Desjardins,   in  Quebec in 1901.  The first credit union in the United States was chartered in 1909 by the parishioners of St. Mary's Church in Hampshire with help from Desjardins.  Edward Feline and Roy Bergengren are considered the pioneers of the US movement.

The Idea Continues Growing- Caribbean 

Researchers have concluded that Caribbean people were introduced to the cooperative movement sometime towards the end of the 19th century.  The first attempts to organize cooperative ventures were in Guyana.  The Peoples Cooperative Bank started in Jamaica in 1905 was the first recorded Caribbean financial cooperative.  In the early 1940s, the concept of credit unions was formally introduced into the Caribbean by missionaries from Canada and the USA.  The idea of credit unions was accepted and credit unions were organized in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in the early forties and in Dominica in 1951. 

The Idea Arrives In Dominica

The Roseau Co-operative Credit Union Limited was formed on May 30, 1951, under the stewardship of Sister Alicia de Tremmerie, a Belgian Catholic nun. The harsh economic situation at the time inspired the idea of establishing the credit union movement in Dominica.

The country was plagued with communicable diseases and people could not afford the basic amenities of life.It was Sister Alicia's vision and dedicated effort that spearheaded the establishment of the society. Credit Unions had helped the poor in other countries with their social and economic problems and Sister Alicia believed that it could do the same here. The poor of Dominica, like the poor in other parts of the world, needed access to credit. At the time, commercial credit for the poor was unheard of. Sister Alicia believed credit unions would be an improvement on the subs which they organised among themselves.

Idea Takes Root

She first sold the idea to the Social League of Catholic women and then sought the support of the men.Pioneer members, including Edward Elwin, RCCU's   first manager, underwent guidance and training from Sister Alicia who helped them to recorgnise the benefits and the advantages of community-based co-operative effort. As part of the education process, persons began saving small amounts at regular intervals and then borrowing. They saved as little as 25 cents every Saturday and then got loans of $5.00 or $10.00. They repaid these loans at 50 cents weekly. Though there were those who were sceptical at the time, the spirit of the pioneers remained undaunted. Interest in the credit union movement was growing. The success of the study groups clearly indicated there was the need for such an institution where from small savings persons could help each other with small loans to improve their economic condition. RCCU, Dominica's flagship credit union was borne out of this determination on May 30, 1951. Sixty-eight (68)  members contributed $600 in shares to get it started and its common bond or field of membership was defined as "persons living or working in Roseau." After its formation, community credit unions sprang up all over the island.