BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—CEOs and staff from Alabama credit unions met with their new partners from Costa Rican credit unions during a two-day meeting hosted by the Alabama Credit Union League. As part of the Alabama League's partnership with the Federation of Cooperatives of Costa Rica (FEDEAC), the trade association for Costa Rican credit unions, and World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU), credit unions in Alabama and in Costa Rica have joined together to enable both sides to share best practices, strategies, and plans for member services and education.
The partnership between the ACUL and FEDEAC involves direct credit union to credit union partnerships. The Alabama Credit Union League, WOCCU and FEDEAC signed the partnership agreement, creating an alliance between the three groups. The agreement allows for the exchange of information and ideas on operations, marketing, and promotion of credit unions in both countries, development of best practices for the trade associations, promotion of the principles of credit unions before credit union members, the general public, media, and governmental officials, and commitment to annual work-plans to implement the plans of the partners.
Each credit union from Alabama has partnered with a specific credit union from Costa Rica. The partners are:
During the two day meeting, each participant made a presentation that included a history of the credit union, field of membership, services offered, and the unique attributes of each. The partnering credit unions met individually to explore issues and areas that they could work on together, including such ideas as an employee exchange program, sharing marketing materials, financial literacy, youth programs, and tackling such large issues as shared branching and IT.
"We are very excited about being able to meet together to formalize our partnership with the Costa Rican credit union movement, and World Council of Credit Unions," ACUL President Gary B. Wolter said. "During our days together, we got to know each other very well and discovered that, although we work in different countries, we have many of the same challenges and opportunities. The partnership between Alabama credit unions and those in Costa Rica will give both sides new perspective on how credit unions can work every day to serve our members. It is also a great way to put the cooperative spirit of credit unions into action and show that the cooperation does not end at any border."
WOCCU President and CEO Pete Crear said of the meeting, "We are very pleased to see the power of cooperation in action…now Costa Rica and Alabama credit unions are joining forces to better serve their number one priority: their members."
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 more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.