ACCU Announces Intended Return to Full World Council Membership

October 13, 2006

Phone: (608) 395-2000

(l-r): Ranjith Hettiarachchi, ACCU CEO, Supachai Srisupaaksorn, ACCU president, the Hon. Rathnasiri Wickramanayake, prime minister of Sri Lanka, and Bobby McVeigh during a special presentation at the opening of the program.

Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) delegates unanimously voted to return to full World Council membership at the Asian Credit Union Forum 2006 in Sri Lanka, September 21- 23.

ACCU invited Pete Crear, CEO of World Council of Credit Unions, Bobby McVeigh, vice-chairman of Credit Union Central of Canada and World Council board director, and Dave Richardson, World Council senior manager of technical development, to speak on good governance at the forum.

Crear moderated a plenary session on "Achieving Success in Career, Business and Life" given by R. Theyvendran, Chairman of TCC Singapore.

Richardson spoke on how to lead change and improvement in the credit union system in response to today's evolving market environment.

McVeigh discussed the exploration of new financial services markets in the first keynote speech of the forum. He also led a breakout session on volunteers and the professionalism required of them in approaching credit union governance.

ACCU serves more than 16,000 credit unions with 20.5 million members in 26 countries. In 2000, it dropped its full World Council membership and chose to become an affiliate World Council member. McVeigh worked during his tenure as World Council board chairman (2003-2005) to bring ACCU back to full membership.

"I firmly believe if you are going to have an apex movement for credit unions, you cannot exclude countries like China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, where one-third of the world's credit unions operate," McVeigh said in an interview with Tim Bertram, New Zealand Association of Credit Unions, following the meeting.

McVeigh also emphasized the power that comes when credit unions and leagues work together to strengthen their movement. "You have got to tell your story," he said. "You have to communicate it to your members, you certainly have to communicate it to the public, and above all, you have to communicate it to your government."

"You have to tell them about the power of people helping people," McVeigh continued. "You must tell the government about the financial and social impact that credit unions have on the community and the economy. You have to get them to realize that there is a viable alternative to the banks that is operated by the credit union movement."

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at