19 BARBADOS PUBLIC WORKERS’ CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT UNION LIMITED | CONSOLIDATED ANNUAL REPORT 2021 need to accelerate this transition has been underscored by the economic impact arising out of COVID-19 and more recently the ash fall from the eruption of the La Soufrière volcano. Economic Recovery The re-opening of the economy has been accompanied by general improvements in the areas previously impacted by reduced employment levels. However, as unemployment benefits expire, government will be pressured to accelerate initiatives to drive economic recovery. The government in its 2021/22 estimates provided for a primary deficit of -0.3 percent driven by the fact that reduced revenue, due to diminished economic activity and an expected fall in corporate taxes, would not be sufficient to rebound to financial year 2019/20 levels. Consequently, government will need to rely on the continued support of international financial institutions, with drawdown levels anticipated to be on par with that of 2020. Government is anticipating that the target date for reaching its targeted 60.0 percent debt-to-GDP ratio may have to be extended. However, it is reported that the country has adequate liquidity buffers to meet its external obligations. The country’s financial system is expected to remain stable despite anticipated further deterioration in non-performing loans. Outlook – 2022 and Beyond Our expectations last year as we tried to predict what 2021 would bring aligned to the reality of what we are currently facing. We anticipate a challenging year marred by economic slowdown along with continued levels of unemployment that would continue beyond the current year. As we stand in the present realizing the accuracy of those predictions, we however remain undaunted by the circumstances we find ourselves in, and see opportunities and possibilities in every entity that makes us who we are. Despite a down turn in its financial performance this year, the Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Limited remains strong and stable. Its contribution in the past year goes well beyond the numbers in its balance sheet and income statement and is reflected more so in the contributions it has made in the lives of its members, the enhanced corporate social responsibility role it has shouldered and the leadership position it has taken in the movement in various forms. The same can be expected in the coming year, along with a commitment to enhancing product and service offerings to better meet the changing financial needs of members. The CAPITA Group continues to evolve and mature as a subsidiary that is well positioned to deliver on those services the credit union cannot offer to its members and the wider public or sector. Their significant achievement of successfully transitioning to a full Part II financial institution with a foreign exchange license has allowed us to advance further down the path of realizing the benefits of our acquisition ten years ago. Insurance and brokerage services and electronic payment processing by way of debit and credit card services complete a portfolio of diverse lending products, and in so doing provide a foundation for the provision of products and services outside of the current group customers and into the wider credit union movement and small and medium size business enterprises. We fully intend to capitalize and build on this to the Group’s benefit in the coming year. Allied Co-operators Incorporated came into the fold during the past year and made its mark this year. To date there has been positive engagement and acceptance of the company as it seeks to fulfill its mandate of providing much needed assistance to our smaller brothers and sisters in the credit union movement. While yet in its embryonic stage, the demand for its provision of compliance and audit related services paint a positive picture of the potential that is yet to be tapped. We anticipate reporting positive news of its growth and success in upcoming reports. As we move into the 2021-22 financial period, there remains much for us to do as we continue to deliver on our promise of building a group of companies that consistently improves the livelihood of people and their communities. We will therefore continue to focus on value creation for the mutual benefit of members, employees, communities and Group. As a Group we will continue to build on the work that has gotten us to where we are, but will do so in a way that ensures we remain relevant and capable of taking on whatever the future brings. As we revisited our strategic plan, it reinforced the need to ensure we realigned our organization in all aspects, revisiting our structures, finding ways to be more efficient and improving our technologies and processes to ensure we can meet your needs as they too evolved. The revised plan incorporates strategies to prioritise four specific areas - development of our people, culture and communications; brilliant execution in our operations; enhanced member and customer focus; working towards a sustainable and relevant future. It is our belief that continued focus on these areas will result in our long-term viability and sustainability. We remain confident and optimistic about the coming year as we move into it on a firm foundation with a strong vision, a revised strategy, committed and dedicated directors and elected officers, a professional and caring management and staff body and very importantly the support of you our valued members. We thank you for your continued confidence in us as your financial services provider and look forward to continuing to serve you through all of our corporate entities. This is where you belong! Today, Tomorrow, Together.