February 24, 2021

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Savings and credit cooperatives strengthened in the face of the pandemic

San Juan – Six months after the declaration of emergency due to the pandemic and at the beginning of Cooperativism Month, the savings and credit cooperative system celebrated a 9.5 percent growth in its assets, which attracted more than 10,000 new members and achieved retain its nearly three thousand employees, reported Thursday, Eddie Alicea Sáez, president of the Association of Cooperative Executives (ASEC).

The cooperative conglomerate accumulated an additional $ 850 million in deposits between March and June, increasing its assets to $ 9.764 million, according to the most recent data from the Public Corporation for the Supervision and Insurance of Cooperatives (COSSEC).

Alicea Sáez explained that this important increase occurred, in part, because citizens preferred savings and credit cooperatives to deposit the economic assistance offered by government authorities.

“The credibility and reliability of our cooperatives succeeded in inserting a large sector of the population into the financial system that had excluded themselves from participating as owner partners. It has been well attended and will be able to benefit from our solidity as a conglomerate ”, expressed the ASEC spokesperson in written communication.

He mentioned that the cooperative system enjoys highly healthy liquidity, which will allow them to undertake new opportunities for borrowing activity in favor of 1,058,113 members and depositors.

The organization reviewed the performance of the cooperative conglomerate in the emergency period caused by COVID-19.

90 percent of the cooperatives are working regular hours and providing all available financial services.

Remote work, the adaptation of schedules, review of functions and the granting of temporary incentives, allowed the operational continuity of the system, ensuring the well-being of its employees and partners.

Likewise, Alicea Sáez highlighted the great capacity of adaptation of financial institutions to the protection requirements imposed by the pandemic to continue offering the essential service, both in person and online.

“We recognize the hard work, effort, dedication and diligence of our workforce. They have given the maximum to offer our people an excellent service; following the established security protocols at all times to guarantee the health of all our partners and clients. For each of the institutions it is essential to protect them all. Our achievements are a reflection of the principles and values ​​that govern the Cooperative Movement of the country, ”said Aurelio Arroyo, a member of the ASEC Board of Directors.

Arroyo pointed out that the cooperative system demonstrated great capacity by authorizing the deferral of payments to members and clients in the emergency period, precisely thanks to its financial strength.

“First, we demonstrate our empathy with the economic needs of the partners at a time when they have faced multiple economic difficulties,” stated Arroyo.

The executives indicated that the financial cooperative leadership is attentive and prepared to continue making adjustments to meet the economic and health challenges that lie ahead with equal agility.

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