Credit Unions to Take an Active Role in Brussels

June 25, 2004

Madison, WI-On June 1 World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU), on behalf of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) and the National Association of Cooperative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) entered into an agreement with the public affairs firm, Policy Action, Ltd.

Under the terms of the agreement, beginning August 1st Policy Action will provide representation services for ILCU, NACSCU and WOCCU in Brussels before the European Union.

Over the past 18 months, ILCU, NACSCU, the Association of British Credit Unions League (ABCUL) and WOCCU together have concluded that activities at the European Union level are having direct impacts on credit unions at their national levels. As a result, it is imperative that credit unions movements in the European Union have a voice in deliberations in Brussels. ABCUL and other credit union movements in the European Union may join this initiative at a later stage.

"It is of great importance to raise the profile of credit unions with European Union legislators and authorities" indicated Arthur Arnold, WOCCU's President and CEO. He continued, "WOCCU is very pleased to serve its European members by facilitating their representation in Brussels through Policy Action. I congratulate the Irish and Polish credit union leaders for taking the lead and I am convinced others will follow."

Liam O'Dwyer, Chief Executive Officer, ILCU "During the past year the Irish League of Credit Unions has worked closely with Parliamentarians and Committee members within the European Union on behalf of credit unions in Ireland, with a view to amending the overly restrictive proposals in the new proposed Consumer Credit Directive being finalized in the EU. The success of this work has underlined the importance of liaison with the EU on key regulatory issues. ILCU is delighted to have the support of WOCCU and NACSCU to initiate this Policy Action project. Their support will enhance credit unions representation in the EU and ensure that the Irish League of Credit Unions is cognascent of all pertinent initiatives at EU level effecting credit unions."

Grzegorz Bierecki, president NASCUC noted, "I am very pleased that this initiative is being jointly undertaken by WOCCU and its European allies to best address the representation needs of key credit union movements in Brussels. I believe, while united Europe expands and other movements grow they will also recognize the value of pan-European cooperation through this joint project, which benefits credit unions and their members in respective countries."

Wes Himes, Advocacy Representative, Policy Action Ltd., " We look forward to working with WOCCU, ABCUL, ILCU and NACSCU and supporting the critical role credit unions play in Europe. The work of the EU in the area of financial services is far reaching and, now more than ever, credit unions need to be involved in the broader issues facing their development. We hope to facilitate that mission and appreciate the opportunity to work with this dynamic sector." Activities in Brussels will be coordinated by Liam O'Dwyer, ILCU; Dariusz Kijanka, NACSCU and Dave Grace, WOCCU Senior Manager Association Services.

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 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

Phone: (608) 395-2000