Britain's Credit Union Leaders Embrace Financial Inclusion Challenge
What do financial inclusion, a wedding
and WOCCU's CEO all have in common?
They all took center stage at the Association
British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) Annual
General Meeting in Blackpool, England, March 24-
More than 500 delegates at the conference were
eager to learn about credit union advocacy in the
area of financial inclusion, as British credit
unions were starting to apply for a portion of
£36 million allocated by the government for
improving access to affordable credit. Speakers
discussed current progress in financial inclusion
and the role of credit unions in the initiative,
while workshops offered the opportunity to
reflect upon the implementation of research
findings by those working in the sector. The
growth fund, managed by Britain's Department for
Work and Pensions, aims to increase the
availability of affordable credit. It must be
used for lending, but a proportion of the fund is
also available for costs incurred in lending.
WOCCU CEO Pete Crear gave the credit union
activists an international perspective of the
credit union movement. He shared about WOCCU's
current projects in Kenya, Rwanda, Afghanistan,
and Sri Lanka, and the challenges they encounter.
Roger Marshall, Head of Credit Unions at the
Financial Services Authority, expanded on new
regulatory challenges as credit unions expand
"This [was] an ideal time for credit unions to
meet and discuss the many opportunities and
challenges that are now facing the movement,"
ABCUL CEO Mark Lyonette said. "I'm sure that
[the] weekend's speakers, workshops, and
discussions added to the enthusiasm and ambition
of ABCUL credit unions, as they take on the
challenge of providing quality credit union
services for the people of Britain."
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, 51,000 credit unions in 100 countries serve 196 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.