Fiji Public Service Credit Union has a membership of 3000 members and assets of around $13 million. It is not part of any Trade Union but a Credit Union registered under the Credit Union Act.
Unlike banks and other types of financial institutions, Credit Unions are non-profit cooperatives whose sole purpose is to contribute to economic and social wellbeing of its members. FPSCU's main objects are to encourage savings and provide loans to members.
"Savings provide 'Savers' an effective exit of the vicious cycle of borrowing, said FPSCU general manager," Simione Naiduki. FPSCU features several saving mechanism to its members which are Shares Savings, Christmas Savers, Educational Savers, and Compulsory Savings.
Compulsory Savings was introduced in 2009 where members are to save at least $10 fortnightly. This can only be withdrawn during retirement or resignation from membership. This will accumulate yearly and earns a dividend at the end of each year.
Upon approval on new membership, new members are allowed to loan after three months of contribution for productive and provident purpose with very little cost. Membership is not limited to civil servants, any worker with a regular source of income can make arrangements with his/her workplace for direct deduction to FPSCU and can apply for membership.
Mr Naiduki says they provide an unsecured loan which is regulated by the Credit Union Act and Standard by Laws. "At the end of each financial year, we will pay dividend on accumulating shares and savings," he said. The rate during the last years was 5 per cent on accumulated shares and two per cent on other savings. Interest on lending is one per cent per month and other charges are minimal. In total lending charges are much cheaper than charges made by other lenders.
FPSCU provides a Death Benefit Cover for members Shares and Loans. FPSCU also involved in Property and Financial Investment, and also leases out a property to Fiji TV and others.
FPSCU is headed by a Board of Directors, a Credit Committee and a Supervisory Committee that act as its internal auditor.
Its members are also co-owners and shareholders of this business. Credit Unions are regulated by legislation so money saved or invested with the FPSCU is safe at all times.