J. Q. Charles, the St. Lucian business icon dedicated many years of his life to promoting economic independence, the savings and investment culture.
He was a founding member of the St. Lucia Cooperative Bank, known then as the ‘Penny Bank’ established to serve St. Lucians who were denied loans and other financial services from internationally owned banks.
St. Lucia Co-operative Bank Limited opened for business in January 1938, in a humble Mongiraud Street back store.
Sir Joseph served as a director for forty-three years and as President of the Bank for 10 of those 43 years. He was extremely proud of the ‘Penny Bank’.
The other founding members of the Board of St. Lucia Cooperative Bank were George Palmer – First President, J.B.D. Osbourne – Secretary/ Manager, Clive Beaubrun, Joseph Devaux, John H. Pilgrim, and Allen Lewis – Company Solicitor. J. Q. Charles had three sons Ferrel, Cornell, and Alison [Bam, Baby and Baba] and two daughters, Antonia and Joycelin. His wife was Albertha Charles.
His grandson Gordon Charles is the Chief Executive Officer of the J. Q. Charles Group of Companies which comprises 12 companies that operate within the local and OECS business landscape.