Stakeholders Update: Understanding and Overcoming the Hurdles Together
The St. Vincent Building & Loan Association (SVBLA) is a Building Society that is owned entirely by its members, who are all private individuals and in a few cases, local organisations. In 2013, the membership of the SVBLA voted unanimously to adopt a Recapitalization Plan recommended by the regulators at the August 29th Annual General Meeting. This Plan, the SVBLA acknowledges, was not a popular one, but was a necessary strategy to protect our depositors’ investments and the longevity of the Association.
The Recapitalization Plan guaranteed that ALL depositors, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, had access to 90% of all their investments at the Association, in addition to interest at rates of 3% to 3.5%. The Association retained, as part of the Recapitalization, a maximum of 10% of the total of each depositor’s savings, which were placed as Permanent Shares. The Recapitalization Plan was a one-time transaction and since 2013, the Association has not transferred any other funds from depositors’ accounts to Permanent Shares. The Association empathizes with its members, however, it is not currently able to facilitate the redemption of Permanent Shares. As a membership organisation, any changes to Permanent Shares and their structure, including but not limited to, the redemption of said Shares, must be voted upon as was previously done by the membership and sanctioned by our regulator.
The Association has benefited thousands of persons throughout its 79 years of operations and with the continued support of its membership and the public will continue to forge ahead. Unlike other financial institutions that encountered similar challenges, the Association was able to recover and has committed to paying dividends on these Permanent Shares, which commenced in 2017. The Association has and will continue to pay dividends based on profitability.
The Association is stable, with profits of $1.7 million and $2.3 million recognised in 2018 and 2017 respectively. In 2013, the Association had an accumulated deficit of $15.7 million which has been improved by $20.67 million to an accumulated surplus of $4.97 million as at December 31, 2018. At the time of intervention by the regulators, the non-performing loan portfolio stood at $81 million. As at the end of 2018, this had been reduced by 29% to $57.2 million. We have also consistently exceeded the regulatory requirements regarding liquidity. These gains are being returned to members through dividends on Permanent Shares. The Association has managed to protect members’ deposits and maintain the overall sustainability of the institution, through its recovery efforts and the implementation of a robust corporate governance structure.
The St. Vincent Building & Loan Association remains steadfast and is working with purpose towards the realization of the common good for all stakeholders. We continue to build on our Mission: To provide the best financial solutions distinguished by product innovation, sustainable earnings and community partnerships. We are committed to building lives one step at a time.