Singapore Police Co-operative Society Limited

The Co-operative Societies' Ordinance 1924, which came into effect on 1st January 1925, paved the way for the co-operative movement in Singapore. In the years following 1925, the impact of co-operative movement in Singapore was felt the most as the post-war years of the First World War (1914 -1918) resulted in rising inflation and a rapid increase in the rate of indebtedness, especially among average earners. In order to survive, many had resorted to loansharks with their exorbitant interest charges.

It was not unusual to see moneylenders gather around government offices and commercial houses on pay-day to collect their dues. There were many stories about how moneylenders relieved victims of their salaries immediately after they had received their pay. The living and working conditions in Singapore were wretched and wages were low.

People then turned to tontine, organised amongst themselves to pay off their debts. There were no financial institutions or banks to help them in times of need. Although tontine then was the only solution, it involved inevitable risks as many organisers of the tontine absconded.

The concerned Colonial Government, looking at the development of co-operative societies in the West and their experiences, decided to study the feasibility of establishing organisations which allowed members to fund their personal credit with their own money. The Singapore Government Staff Credit Co-operative Society Limited - the very first thrift and loan society to be registered, was born on 7th October 1925.

On 18th September 1926, the Sharikat Polis Repablik Singapura Bekerja Sama-Sama Jimat Chermat, Menyimpan Dan Pinjaman Wang Dengan Tanggongan Berhad or the Singapore Police Co-operative Thrift and Loan Society was formally registered with the Registrar of Co-operative Societies for the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States. It was the first society to be registered for uniformed personnel in the Singapore Government Service.

A month after its registration, the Police Co-operative was officially opened for operations. The Chief Police Officer Mr H Fairburn C.M.G., K P M. of Singapore became the President and Advisor of the Police Co-operative to provide it with status and credibility. The main objectives of the Police Co-operative were to encourage savings and provide loans at reasonable interest rates in times of need.

During the first few years, the loans given out were used to pay off borrowings of junior officers from loansharks. The loan interest rate was at a low 1% per annum. Following this, members' indebtedness was gradually erased.

Enter Singapore Police Co-operative Society Limited

Last Updated on 01 June 2016