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Social and economic conditions may change but the co-operative concept of members helping members will never change.


And that keeps Daniel Cher, a Board Member of TCC Credit Co-operative, going. “I truly believe in the spirit of co-operative. If I don’t have the passion, if I am not convinced myself, how am I going to convince others?”

For Daniel, the ‘convincing’ started way back when he was serving as a TCC Credit Co-op Member Representative in the early 1990s. While recruiting union members to join the POSB Staff Union (POSBSU), Daniel was also making a pitch for TCC Credit Co-op during the lunchtime talks held for new POSB employees. The membership base of TCC Credit Co-op is mainly made up of the staff of Singapore Telecommunications, POSB and Singapore Post.

The spirit of volunteerism and the gift of leadership caught the attention of the Union as well as the Co-operative. He served as a delegate in the late 1980s and subsequently elected to serve as the General Secretary of POSBSU for six years. He was also a NTUC Income Organiser for some four years. Two years into his role as TCC Credit Co-op Member Representative, Daniel was called on to serve as a Board Member in 1998. He now sits in the Audit Committee and is the co-chair of the Social sub-committee.


We talked about making Singapore a cultured and gracious society but to many, bread and butter issues are still a priority.
- Daniel

 

Meeting the needs of the common man still tugs his heart after all these years. He said:

“Operations will change with the times, services will improve and new co-operative models will evolve to meet the changing environment and lifestyles, for example, car share, retirement village, enrichment centres. It can be challenging but as long as the regulatory framework does not get too rigid, credit co-operatives will stay relevant. We will always be there for the common man who would always need our financial assistance.”

For Daniel, who works as a Compliance Officer with the Bank of Singapore, helping members to consolidate their credit cards to minimise debt is a cause worth fighting for. He is always on the look out to enhance the Co-operative’s common good fund and welfare benefits.

“TCC Credit Co-op has always stayed relevant because more than 75% of our members earn an income of $2500 and below. So it is a niche market that we cater to. Banks have a lot more red tapes and regulations. As a Co-operative, we also look at alternative solutions and assist our members to the best of our capabilities without compromising on our risk. We try and keep our loan interest competitive and affordable for members.”

“By the way, we offer the lowest and best interest for our education loans compared to anyone in the market,” Daniel highlighted. He  beamed with pride when talking about TCC Credit Co-op being the first credit co-operative to have ATM in Singapore and the first to have phone banking and Internet banking.

As a Board Member, he is setting his sight on “steering the ship in the same focused direction”.

“We must run the co-operative as one that is helping the common man and not run it as a money-generating business. Otherwise, we will lose the identity as a Co-operative.”

“We talked about making Singapore a cultured and gracious society but to many, bread and butter issues are still a priority.”

Daniel’s strong sense of giving back to the community saw him serving for 26 years in the Tanjong Pagar GRC. This year, he was presented with the National Day Award (Public Service Medal) for his contributions to community service.

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