During the early years prior to 1971, there were two Credit Unions Operating the in the parish , The Saint Anthony’s Credit Union in Port Antonio and The Saint George’s Credit Union in Buff Bay. These were very small Credit Union that started with the initiative of father John Peter Sullivan a Catholic Priest.
The Credit Union was then seen as the poor man’s bank which catered for the needs of the peasants, farmers and those who were under employed and unemployed.
In January 1971, the two Credit Unions were merged to form the Portland Co-operative Credit Union Limited. The merger facilitated the opening of the membership bond to cover all persons living and working in the parish of Portland.
The new Credit Union was registered with just over 600 members with savings of approximately $45,000.00 and total asset of approximately $54,000.00
During the first 25 years of its operations, the Portland Co-operative Credit Union Limited, like many other Credit Unions experienced mixed results. There were times when the challenges seemed to have almost over powered the Credit Union, thus forcing it into a period of decline.
However, with the watchful eyes and the inherent parenting role of the Credit Union League, assistance was provided to the Credit Union in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s which formed the basis for the stabilization of the Credit Union.
Having the foundation re-strengthened in the early 1990’s, the Credit Union experienced phenomenon growth during the ten (10) years 1995 to 2005 and is still growing steadily.
The Credit Union asset grew from just under $12M in 1994 to over $870M in 2007. The Credit Union also experienced tremendous growth in membership, savings and loans.
Currently the Portland Co-operative Credit Union Limited competes favourably with all the financial institutions within the parish offering a wide range of products and services.
The Portland Co-operative Credit Union Limited is now a household name in the parish of Portland.