Biggest-Ever World Credit Union Conference Opens in Dublin
1,850 delegates from 48 countries plan future growth of not-for-profit financial services and contribute over US$2.5 million to Irish economy
WOCCU & ILCU
Liam O'Dwyer, CEO, ILCU; Anne O'Byrne, President, ILCU; Gary Plank, Chairman, WOCCU, and Pete Crear, CEO, WOCCU, at an ILCU press conference to kick off the 2006 World Conference.
Dublin, Ireland—The 2006 World Credit
Union Conference will be
officially opened Thursday, July 27, 2006, by
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern,
Dublin's Burlington Hotel.
"It is a great honor for the Irish League of
Credit Unions to host the conference," said Liam
O'Dwyer, CEO, ILCU. "It is recognition by World
Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) of the success
of the Irish credit union movement. That success
is increasingly reflected with worldwide
membership of over 157 million people."
"The primary intention of the conference is to
share best practices, new initiatives and
developments among key credit union personnel
worldwide," said Pete Crear, CEO, WOCCU. "It is
seen by credit union personnel as a significant
opportunity to network and be trained across the
areas of strategy, financial operations and good
governance, and provides support for countries
where the credit union movement is
John Rafferty, Head of Product Marketing from
Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development
authority, said, "The World Council of Credit
Unions Conference is one of the largest and most
important conferences to be held in Ireland this
year and will generate over US$2.5 million for
the Irish economy. Fáilte Ireland is delighted to
support this conference which showcases Ireland
as a business tourism destination. Business
tourists are high yield visitors who tend to
spend around 70 percent more than regular
holidaymakers and often extend their visit by
travelling around the country after the
conference has finished. It is a tribute to the
hard work of the organizing committee that this
conference is taking place in Ireland."
In addition to the Prime Minister, the
features a number of important speakers and
contributors from the worlds of international
social justice, economics and financial
services. These include Mary
Robinson—former President of Ireland, Irish
economist David McWilliams, Brian
Cowen—Ireland's Minister of Finance,
Patrick Neary—Irish Financial Services
Regulatory Authority, Dan Mica—CEO, CUNA
and Usha Thorat—Deputy Governor, Reserve
Bank of India.
Mary Robinson's paper will focus on the
equalizing effect of globalization and the role
credit unions can play in the global economy with
special emphasis on their role in developing
countries and economies.
David McWilliams' knowledge of the Irish
how it is developing and the role credit unions
can play in that economy will be informative and
Dan Mica, an ex-Congressman, will focus on the
important battle taking place in the US between
banks and credit unions over taxation. Banks are
for-profit while credit unions are not-for-
profit; yet banks seek equivalence in relation to
credit unions' exemption from corporation tax.
Usha Thorat will bring her unique perspective
the challenges for credit unions competing in a
dynamic financial marketplace.
20 WORKSHOPS PACKED INTO THREE HARD-WORKING
A wide range of financial, economic, social
technology-focused workshops will be attended by
delegates over the three days of the conference.
These will include items of considerable interest
to the large Irish delegation as they deal with
marketing, technology trends, credit union board
best practices, social auditing, the credit union
difference, Basel II, regulatory developments
and "what if the mortgage bubble bursts?"
Contributors to these workshops come from the top
of their professions and from many credit union
movements around the world.
35 REGULATORS FROM 16 COUNTRIES MEET DURING
For the fourth year, regulators have convened
during the conference to discuss global
regulatory practices, demutualization and
mergers. In addition, the challenges of small
credit unions and risk management practices are
YOUNG CREDIT UNION PERSONNEL KEY TO FUTURE
As a growing and developing worldwide
credit unions are increasingly attracting the
interest of young people – both as volunteers and
professionals. The WOCCU conference includes a
dedicated program for them: the Young Credit
Union People Program (WYCUP). This will bring
together 35 young credit union
volunteers/professionals to network and share
ideas for the future development of the worldwide
credit union movement. They will formally
present the outcome of their discussions to WOCCU
conference delegates for development.
JOHN HUME TO GET 2006 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE
John Hume, the only person in history to have
the three biggest peace awards in the world – the
Nobel Peace Prize, the Gandhi Peace Prize and the
Martin Luther King Award, will receive this
year's Distinguished Service Award in recognition
of his work in promoting the credit union
movement in Ireland. World Council's
Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor
paid to individuals and institutions by the
worldwide credit union movement, recognizing
outstanding contributions to international credit
IRISH CREDIT UNION MOVEMENT A HUGE
"The Irish credit union movement is one of the
great successes of Ireland, giving access to
financial services across all social strata,"
said Anne O'Byrne, President, ILCU. "It started
at a time when access to financial services was
not widely available...especially to those of
limited means. Now, the total assets of credit
union members in Ireland are over US$16.4 billion
and people from all walks of life are members.
Indeed, Ireland has one of the highest per capita
credit union memberships in the world – with more
than three million members (approximately 50
percent of the adult population north and
south). The conference is an important milestone
for us as we seek to finalize a new strategic
plan for the Irish credit union movement by
September of this year."
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, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.