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."
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, 51,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 100 países atienden a 196 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en www.woccu.org.