December 2023 Issue: Co-operator Newsletter Quarterly December 2023

Overseas Visit: Delegates from St Vincent Credit Union in Hong Kong

Overseas Visit: Delegates from St Vincent Credit Union in Hong Kong
Caption: Overseas Visit: Delegates from St Vincent Credit Union in Hong Kong

By Lim Yih Ching, Edited by Sng Ler Jun

On 24 October, the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) hosted 22 delegates from . Formed 55 years ago, the credit union is one of 12 Paris Church Credit Unions affiliated to the Credit Unions League of Hong Kong.

In her welcome address, Ms Verene Cheong, Head of Marketing Communications and Strategy at SNCF, introduced the Singapore Co-operative Movement to the delegates and shared some of the challenges that credit co-operatives are facing in the increasingly competitive market. These challenges include the decline in membership and lending activities.

Mr Lucas Poon, Treasurer of St. Vincent Credit Union of Hong Kong, also echoed the same challenges that were highlighted. To address the challenges, St. Vincent Credit Union has continued their outreach through education programmes such as the credit union leadership training programme and promotional activities. The credit union has also faced some success in co-running a vegetable garden with fellow credit unions, as a collaborative programme to promote membership engagements.

Ms Jess Low, Secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE) Credit Co-operative, elaborated on the endeavours of her co-op. As the largest public sector union in Singapore, AUPE has been a steadfast advocate for the rights of public employees from Ministries, Statutory Boards and Organs of State since its establishment in 1959. It has a credit co-operative branch, which further supports its members through financial products and services. Following this, a candid discussion unfolded, covering various topics such as digitalisation, talent attraction and regulations pertaining to credit unions or co-operatives.

While delegations from both countries agree that there are inevitable challenges in the ever-evolving market, they expressed hope in staying rooted to their co-operatives’ mission and to continue to serve future generations by embarking on a transformation journey.

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Who we are

SNCF is the apex body of Singapore’s Co-operative Movement, and secretariat of the Central Co-operative Fund (CCF). Formed in 1980 with the aim of championing Singapore’s Co-operative Movement, the apex body represents majority of co-operative members in Singapore through its affiliated co-operatives.