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The strong growth of Bahaman credit unions has significantly influenced the decision to bring them under the regulatory control of the country's central bank.
At the end of December 2010, the assets of credit unions totaled US$250mn, corresponding to 9.3% average annual growth in the last five years, according to a central bank press release.
Some 10 credit unions are currently under the control of the department of cooperative development, and are governed under the cooperative societies act of 2005.
The move comes shortly after an IMF report concluded that stronger regulatory and supervisory frameworks were needed in the country's financial system.