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I received this today, I am passing it on with no comment beyond the source is very reputable.
The financial newspaper in Panama (Capital Financiero) published a note this week saying that the government entity that oversees Savings and Loans Coops has just intervened COACECSS (which is the one being promoted by this group of Americans in Panama) because of an audit which showed the sustained non-compliance with the law that regulates them and the "financial and administrative deterioration of this Coop which jeopardizes the investments of the Coop".
I know many people have bought into this and need to see this message.
It bumps a discussion to the top again
I bailed out a year ago, for personal reasons combined with a feeling of intransparency of that credit union.
I asked for an annual report because it may be interesting how they manage to pay up to 8% interest rate annually on higher amounts. To my understanding for giving small credits they at least would have to charge 8% to break even. Having a little surplus and being a little bit profitable would definitely need more interests as to what they're willing to give you for your principal.
But asking is not always beneficial. So I wouldn't get any answers other than 'there was never a default of any credit union', or 'simply believe in them' etc.
But what about something like an annual report of 2011?
I got into it by recommendation and trust. I bailed out by investigation (and the lack of answers to my questions) and a funny feeling. Call it a learning curve.
That's just my experience with mentioned credit union. I'd love to see some public reporting of some actuality about how a credit union is refinancing itself (maybe even published in this forum, for it shouldn't be a secret; a link would do it).
The issue of non-member deposits and the related but not identical issue of relaxing the "common bond" was a topic of discussion in the U.S. once upon a time but it seems now to be settled that there are credit unions that can compete with banks and other financial institutions without endangering their primary mission.
But the banks are still fighting back. See http://creditunionwatch.blogspot.com/2011/07/non-member-deposits.html for a discussion of the subject from a traditional banker's unfriendly point of view.
Also see:http://www.cutimes.com/tag/conservatorship for the latest on credit union conservatorships.
In the announcement of its temporary conservatorship of COACECSS (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150927865172545), IPACOOP states that, although credit unions can provide services to "terceros", those third parties can not get a better deal than members nor can that deal be a detriment to the interests of the members.
If the deals COACECSS made survive IPACOOP's tender ministerings, my guess is that COACECSS will be the first to let everybody know.
So has anyone here had any bad experiances with COACECSS or have knowledge of any specefic problems with them?
They have been taken over by the government due to financial problems.
The Independent Institute Cooparativo (IPACOOP) on the authority of its board of directors, decided to take temporary management of the Cooperative Savings and Credit Fund Employees Social Security, R. L. (Coacecss).
This decision was made after a special audit carried out Coacess, which showed a repeated failure to Law 17 of 1997.
Marta was also appointed as intervener Moon Veliz temporary cooperative while the correction of deficiencies found, trying to keep attention to partners and the general public.
The resolution JD/11/2012, by authorizing the intervention, indicated that the audit carried out "details an alarming deterioration of financial and administrative organization through this cooperative and that such circumstances pose a serious risk to the investments by the cooperative and therefore the money from partners and third parties. "
James Sturge, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Coacecss, upon receiving the notification, announced his willingness to work addressing all recommendations made by the institution, said in a statement IPACOOP.
The IPACOOP reiterated its commitment to protect the funds of the cooperative and to ensure adherence to cooperative principles, values and laws that govern it.
We've entertained opening an account there due to the restrictions with conventional bank, I it's safe to assume that it wouldn't be prudent to invest in Coacecss?
We met several people who have invested there, have they lost their money?
It is in conserver-ship now who knows what will happen.
"details an alarming deterioration of financial and administrative organization through this cooperative and that such circumstances pose a serious risk to the investments by the cooperative and therefore the money from partners and third parties. "
I cannot tell you what to do, Read the quote above and make your own decsions.
Opening a bank account is not so difficult. If you need help message me.
If I had money in there I would be trying to get it out, but that again is only my opinion.
Are there any updates to the status of this institution?
All is well.......if you want information about signing up, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org We will have to wait until new rates are agreed upon. Should be a Panama week........or two...........jT
I had been to their head office last year and wouldn't be 'entertained'.
I just thought I would go there and they seemed pretty surprised seeing a real client on their premises. I requested to have the interests paid directly into an account instead of heading down to David each month, picking up a check and having it credited then into a different bank account (I had only invested in a term deposit of that credit union, so not having a bank account with them; but there's no need to open a bank account if one has already a bank account at another Panamanian bank).
When I was there, only an associate of some sort would take some notes but encouraged me not to worry too much about this request. Then it took almost 5 months for them to have the interests accurately paid on the first of each month into that account. I had to call Panama City at least 5 times.
This also happened when I was requesting the principal (after the one-year term deposit came to an end). It took them a month to finally transfer the money into the account they had on file.
They were not happy with that request at all.
As someone here says the IPACOOP has take over the administration of the COACECSS to straight things that were not done well in the Coop. Until now seems like there is not a "serious" financial problem in the Coop. They are trying to correct the administrative failures spoted just to preserve and keep the Coop running as it should be and according to the law. In Panama the law will intervene any financial institution to protect all customer's money.
According to the article there are some administrative failures and process that is in time to be corrected.