Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy, People & Places » Protestors Want Administrator Out of St. Francis Xavier Credit Union
Mar 24, 2023

Protestors Want Administrator Out of St. Francis Xavier Credit Union

Today, a small group of protestors gathered near the Central Park in Corozal Town, across from the Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union. With placards and posters in hand, the group paraded around the park chanting that they want Administrator Martin Marshalleck out of the credit union. Back on March tenth, the Registrar of Credit Unions, Kareem Michael announced that all remedies had been exhausted to address the controversy surrounding the administration of the credit union and that the appointment of Marshalleck was required for the protection of equities and the interests of thirty-two thousand, plus member owners of the credit union. Today, the management team who were stripped of their powers were out in protest. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

There are thirty-two thousand, plus member owners of the Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union Limited in Corozal; they are primarily teachers, caneros and others. Today, about fifty of those persons, including the management team of the credit union were out in protest. They want recently appointed administrator Martin Marshalleck removed from the credit union. Rafael Dominguez is the general manager and believes that the issues could have been resolved internally.


Rafael Dominguez

Rafael Dominguez, General Manager, SFXCU

“On March tenth, the Central Bank of Belize without any due notice arrived at the premises of the credit union and suspended the board of directors, the credit committee, supervisory committee, some managers including myself and twelve staff members as well. And that is where this thing has come up regarding the members and the Central Bank of Belize. We are still in an enhanced supervision, as a matter of fact, we have been complying with them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Just in a short period of time when the new officers came into office, eight months I could say, we have been working diligently to try to comply as a normal institution with the many deficiencies that they might have found.”


The announcement of Marshalleck’s appointment was made by the Registrar of Credit Unions, Kareem Michael, who is also the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, hence the reason why the protestors are saying that they want the Central Bank of Belize out of the credit union. Mayet Castillo says that as management, they had completed seventy-five percent of the requests made by Michael and that the installation of an administrator came as a slap in their face.


Mayet Castillo

Mayet Castillo, Chairperson, St. Francis Xavier Supervisory Committee

“The governor went to the media stating the good standing of our Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union and now they turn around and say that there are things that need to be fixed. Those things that needed to be fixed were from 2017/18 when the past board was there and they made a blind eye to it. I personally sent a list of anomalies to Central Bank before we came into office and at the end; they’re putting the whole brunt on us to do miracles. Why didn’t they demand from the previous board? Now that they see that our credit union has potential, they want to interfere; they know where they can get it. And including Central Bank that is immediately under the government, I think the government need to think twice before interfering because this is the poor man’s bank – nobody else’s.”


According to Registrar Michael, the enhanced supervision came on the heels of an examination of the credit union’s operations which revealed critical deficiencies in the governance of the institution. He said that unaccountability at the management level could de-stabilize the credit union and harm the interest of its members. Watching from the sidelines is Ruth Rodriguez. As a member owner, she welcomes the administrator because she says that as Belizeans, they need accountability.


Ruth Rodriguez

Ruth Rodriguez, Member Owner, SFXCU

“Dividends every year is very low, three percent – I mean that is not right. According to the last meeting, they wanted to make Mister Dominguez stay as manager and whatnot, but me as a member I doxsn’t agree with him with an eleven thousand dollars a month. I mean the credit union is for the poor people, it’s not for the rich people. I get very disappointed when I see those people walking there. We as members we are supposed to ask and to join everybody let’s get together – not fighting, not demonstration – let’s just ask what really is going on there. Is Mister Riverol getting investigated? Is there a lawyer being paid by the credit union? As I asked Mister Puc just now, how on earth is Dominguez going to take seventy-five thousand [dollars] to pay a lawyer? That is our money. Does he ask the members are you going to finance my lawyer? Nobody knows – money come out. But when the year comes next year, how much are we getting? Three percent. I don’t have millions of dollars at credit union, but even if you have fifty dollars, you are a member, you have a say. You have a thousand you have a say; you have five thousand – you have a say just like the fifty dollars there.”


Duane Moody

“I was talking to somebody earlier and they are saying that at the onset of this, because they are uncertain about the future of the credit union, they’ve decided to take out their money, close their accounts and take the money elsewhere.”


Ruth Rodriguez

“A lot of people are doing that. I am here to support the poor. And I like that Central Bank is in there doing a job. They don’t want the credit union; they are doing a job. Central bank doesn’t want this; accountability that’s all and that’s what we need as Belizeans – yes or no.”


So what’s next? The former management want answers.


Rafael Dominguez

“What we want to know is where the credit union stands, who will be paying the expenses of the administrator and the other expenses the Central Bank is incurring over the credit union for having an administrator.”


The protestors say that they are getting legal advice on the way forward. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed