California and Nevada CU Leagues' Diana Dykstra and Guatemala CUs Discuss Governance and Strategy
Leagues President and CEO and FENACOAC Representatives Also Meet With Guatemala Superintendency of Banks
April 16, 2013
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra recently conducted a workshop on governance and strategy with the board of directors of Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito (FENACOAC), Guatemala's national credit union trade association.
During the April 8 visit to the Central American country, Dykstra—along with FENACOAC CEO Oswaldo Oliva and World Council of Credit Unions Vice President of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Victor Miguel Corro—also visited with the Superintendency of Banks to advocate for credit union-specific regulation.
The Leagues have partnered with FENACOAC since 2009 as part of World Council of Credit Unions' International Partnerships Program, which seeks to connect developed and emerging credit union movements to form collaborative and mutually beneficial partnerships.
Dykstra's short visit started with a meeting with FENACOAC's full board and senior staff to discuss planning, strategy and how to forge a vision of the future in an organization. She emphasized the difference between board vs. staff responsibilities.
"The level of cooperation between FENACOAC and the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues has helped propel the federation's board of directors and their initiatives," Oliva said.
Diana Dykstra discusses the differences between board and staff responsibilities in a meeting with FENACOAC's board and senior staff.
In the afternoon, Oliva, Dykstra and Corro visited with the technical staff from the Superintendency of Banks, Guatemala's credit union regulator. Dykstra was asked about how the industry in the United States is regulated. The technical staff is working on a draft that will ultimately result in a credit union law in Guatemala. The Superintendency had asked for help in getting case studies for countries in which credit unions are successfully regulated and where the risk is well managed. World Council provided the study.
"The trip was invaluable in a number of ways, one of which was to be able to share information with Guatemala's credit union regulator to help in the agency's development of regulations that will be beneficial to the country's credit unions and its members," Dykstra said.
Guatemala's MICOOPE system, implemented in 2008, comprises 25 credit unions that adopted a unified brand to help with public awareness, ease of transactions throughout the country and credit union membership growth. MICOOPE is essentially self-regulated, with FENACOAC acting as the monitoring agent. Currently MICOOPE has 1.2 million members.
Among the next steps for the partnership between the Leagues and FENACOAC is a visit from members of the technical staff of the Superintendency of Banks as well as MICOOPE with the California Department of Financial Institutions later this year.
In addition, the Leagues will share with MICOOPE the basic educational tracks for credit union CEOs' continued educational opportunities. Using the information, MICOOPE plans to develop a curriculum/lecture guide and then a training program. The training program may result in experts from California traveling to Guatemala for training and/or Guatemalan CEOs traveling to California.
Additionally, Dykstra was invited to participate in FENACOAC's 50th anniversary celebration in November in Guatemala.
Learn more about World Council's International Partnerships Program at www.woccu.org/partnerships.
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, 60,500 credit unions in 109 countries serve 223 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.