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Eastern Credit Union, corner of Park and Frederick Streets, Port-of- Spain, on Wednesday.

High Court Justice Frank Seepersad says a comprehensive review of Eastern Credit Union’s “practices, policies and modus operandi” may be needed.

Seepersad made the statement in a judgement he handed down on an libel and slander matter between Eastern Credit Union’s former director Harvey Borris and the credit union’s former president Wayne Estrada.

Borris’ claims were eventually dismissed.

“Subsequent to the trial, the Court further noted a media report in relation to the Las Viviendas property and a purported situation of irregularity with regard to unusable plans which costed millions,” Seepersad stated.

On May 22, the Sunday Business Guardian published an article titled “Eastern Credit Union pays $4M for wrong drawing plan.”

This followed a Sunday Business Guardian titled “Credit Union confusion” which highlighted that since Richard Noray was elected president of Eastern Credit Union one year ago, the organisation’s chief executive officer and one of its director were dismissed, and two other directors were suspended from the board.

And, during that time, the body tasked with supervising credit unions also launched an enquiry, and an investigation into Eastern’s operations.

“In addition, mere weeks after this trial was conducted, this Court heard another trial in CV2021-03926 Mathews v Eastern Credit Union. In this yet undetermined trial, the Court is tasked to determine whether the Credit Union’s elections should be set aside,” Seepersad stated.

That judgement is expected to be handed down next week.

“The Eastern Credit Union and its subsidiaries play an integral role in the country’s financial landscape and the fiduciary responsibilities discharged by elected officers are sacrosanct. In the discharge of these fiduciary obligations, Committee and Board members are required to exercise due diligence and ensure that they have no personal interest which may colour or affect any decision to be effected,” Seepersad stated in his judgement.

Seepersad said the “frequency and nature of the litigation with which the Credit Union and /or its executive or former executives are subsumed and the public airing of concerns surrounding the Credit Union, instils significant disquiet in the Court’s mind.”

“The prevailing circumstances suggests that there may be a need for a comprehensive review of the Credit Union’s practices, policies and modus operandi,” he stated.

“Consequently the general membership and the Commissioner of Co-operatives may wish to adopt a more proactive approach so as to ensure that the highest standards of proper administration are adopted in the discharge of the society’s business,” Seepersad stated.