ST. PAUL, Minn.—The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) this
past week hosted three credit union professionals from Paraguay in a
regulator exchange. The visit was part of Minnesota's partnership with
Central de Cooperatives del Area National Ltda. (CENCOPAN), Paraguay's
credit union association. MnCUN was partnered with CENCOPAN in 2004
through the World Council of Credit Union's (WOCCU's) International
Partnership Program. WOCCU currently supports 28 partnerships between
U.S. state leagues and Canadian credit union centrals with foreign
credit union organizations.
The three visitors from Asuncion,
Paraguay included IT consulting firm president Juan Luis Ferriera,
CENCOPAN vice president Pedro Elias Loblein Saucedo and cooperative
institute director Maria Mercedes Ortega Martinez. The group visited
Minnesota with the goal of learning more about credit union regulations
and technology in the U.S.
The Paraguayan representatives
began their trip by visiting SouthPoint Federal Credit Union's branches
in Sleepy Eye and New Ulm, Minn. During their visit, participants
learned about U.S. regulatory structure and processes as they shadowed
NCUA examinations. The Paraguayans also investigated the credit union's
drive-through technology and daily functions.
"Many of the
main ideas behind the regulations in the U.S. and Paraguay are the
same. The difference is in the methodology and the processes," said
Saucedo. "Our goal is to use the information we learn during this trip
to examine the Paraguayan regulations and make the regulatory process
more practical and efficient."
In addition to visiting
SouthPoint FCU, the Paraguayans attended MnCUN's annual meeting and
convention. At the meeting, they met credit union professionals and
representatives from around the state and attended several education
seminars. Ferriera, Saucedo, and Martinez were formally recognized at
an awards banquet, where MnCUN board chairman Dick Nesvold of
SouthPoint FCU commended the three for their dedication to their credit
unions and the credit union movement.
At the conclusion of
their trip, the Paraguayans spent their time touring a variety of
places in the Twin Cities, including St. Paul Federal Credit Union,
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union and Minnesota Item Processing Corp.,
MnCUN's check processing CUSO. The group also met with Carl Schwartz,
program director for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which
regulates Minnesota's state-chartered credit unions, and with Minnesota
state legislators to discuss regulation of accounting practices,
developing positive relationships with legislators, and fending off
banker attacks on the industry.
"The Minnesota Credit Union
Network is honored and proud to have such a strong relationship with
CENCOPAN," said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN president and CEO. "The
partnership allows both associations the opportunity to learn from each
other's strengths and help each other in the areas that need
improvement. More than that, the relationships formed through this
partnership enable us to strengthen the credit union movement."
The Minnesota Credit Union Network represents the state's 162
not-for-profit cooperative credit unions serving more than 1.5 million
members. For more information, visit www.mncun.org.
To view the press release, click here .