The Co-operative Movement Making the Difference for more than 88 Years
The Co-operative concept was introduced in Singapore as early as 1924 at a time when money lending was a roaring business. There were, at that time, no institutions, finance companies or banks which wage earners, who were struggling to make ends meet, could depend upon for financial relief in times of need.
The Straits Settlement Co-operative Societies Ordinance was passed in 1924 and came into force in 1925. The first thrift and loan society to be established was the Singapore Government Servants' Co-operative Thrift and Loan Society Ltd, which was registered on 7 October 1925, with 32 members.
Between 1925 and 1940, more people began to see the usefulness of the co-operative concept of self-help and mutual assistance. Altogether 43 thrift and loan societies were formed to cater to the needs of civil servants, teachers, custom officers as well as those working in the private sector.
The growing number of societies made it necessary to create a central organisation to enable co-ordination and collaboration. Thus on 16 November 1933 the Singapore Urban Co-operative Union Ltd was established. It was renamed Singapore Co-operative Union Ltd in July 1954 and later, Singapore National Co-operative Union Ltd in May 1972
On 18 September 1980, SNCF was formed as the apex body of the co-operative movement. The Singapore National Co-operative Union assumed its new role as Singapore Amalgamated Services Co-operative Organisation Ltd in 1982 and became an affiliate of SNCF.