KINGSTON, Jamaica (4/14/09)--Jamaican credit unions are studying a proposal offered by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), which refused their request to increase loan spread and instead proposed credit unions raise their fees on the loans. Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League General Manager Glenworth Francis said the issue is not settled (Jamaica Gleaner Online April 12). DBJ distributes loan capital through approved financial institutions and stipulates that the interest rate to end users can be no more than 3% higher than its rate to the institutions. Credit unions, however, say they need about an 8% spread; otherwise it is unprofitable to distribute the DBJ funds. Instead of raising the spread, DBJ proposed that credit unions add fees to the loans to cover their costs. Discussions about the spread surfaced last year when credit unions began opting out of a $1 billion program to funnel funds to small- and medium-size enterprises, saying the cost to administer the funds were 5% higher than the allowed spread, according to the article.