Birmingham, AL – The Alabama Credit Union League's (ACUL) partnership with the Costa Rican Credit Union Movement and World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), formed this past August, heated up last week as ACUL representatives returned from an introductory trip to San Jose. The purpose of the exploratory trip was to gather the information needed to move the partnership forward.
"We were extremely impressed with the level of sophistication of the credit union movement in Costa Rica," said ACUL Senior EVP/COO Vicki Williams, one of two ACUL representatives making the trip. "Based on our introductory meetings with FEDEAC R.L. management and board, we believe the agreement between Costa Rica and Alabama will make an excellent partnership arrangement. All the credit unions we met with indicated a high degree of interest in direct partnerships with Alabama credit unions and it was obvious during our discussions that we have much to learn from each other."
Coordinated by WOCCU, the partnership details are now on track to be finalized in early 2006. The plan is for credit unions in Alabama to work with WOCCU and FEDEAC R.L., the trade association for Costa Rica's credit unions, in identifying areas of cooperation and then proceed to develop a strategy for working together to share information and specialties. There are currently 70 active credit unions in Costa Rica, serving 490,545 members.
According to WOCCU International Partnerships Manager Victor Corro, "There was definitely great chemistry between Costa Rica and Alabama credit union movements. It was effortless to find areas of cooperation and we believe this trip was a great start to the partnership. FEDEAC, the Costa Rican partner, expressed that it has found a great ally in Alabama to further the scope of products and services to its member credit unions. Several individual credit unions, as a result of the recent visit, have voiced their desire to establish direct partnership with individual credit unions in Alabama, too."
"It appears from our initial meetings that we are now poised to move on to the next step in our partnership," said ACUL CEO Gary B. Wolter. "We plan to host representatives from FEDEAC and Costa Rican credit unions here in Alabama in the spring and find the appropriate credit unions state-wide with which to match them with for direct partnerships. We are very excited about the many opportunities this creates, allowing us to share our collective knowledge and experiences."
El Consejo Mundial de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito es la asociación gremial y agencia de desarrollo para el sistema internacional de cooperativas de ahorro y crédito. El Consejo Mundial promueve el crecimiento sustentable de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y otras cooperativas financieras en todo el mundo a fin de facultar a las personas para que mejoren su calidad de vida a través del acceso a servicios financieros asequibles y de alta calidad. El Consejo Mundial realiza esfuerzos de defensa activa en representación del sistema global de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito ante organizaciones internacionales y trabaja con gobiernos nacionales para mejorar la legislación y la regulación. Sus programas de asistencia técnica introducen nuevas herramientas y tecnologías para fortalecer el desempeño financiero de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y profundizar su alcance comunitario.
El Consejo Mundial ha implementado 290 programas de asistencia técnica en 71 países. A nivel mundial, 57,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 103 países atienden a 208 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en www.woccu.org.