MADISON, Wis.—More than 1,300 credit union industry executives and officials will be traveling to Hong Kong this week to convene for the 2008 World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) World Credit Union Conference, scheduled to run July 13-16. This year's conference, the first WOCCU conference to convene in Asia in more than 30 years, will host representatives from 48 countries. The conference is co-sponsored by the Credit Union League of Hong Kong and the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions.
This year's general session speakers span the globe in terms of expertise. Former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, co-author of what is referred to as the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation on corporate financial accountability and transparency, will discuss credit unions' accountability role in serving members. Dr. Anna K. Tibaijuka, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UN-HABITAT, United Nations Office at Nairobi, will focus on ways credit unions can globally support affordable housing. In addition, CUNA Chairman Tom R. Dorety, president and CEO of Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union, Florida, USA, and Phylip Doughty, CEO of MECU Ltd., Australia, will discuss how credit union philosophy can offer competitive advantages in the speakers' respective countries.
Topics addressed during the 20 breakout sessions include: marketing credit unions to a value-driven generation; benefits and challenges of franchise models; global implications of a changing U.S. economy; attracting deposits in the age of Internet banking and falling interest rates; and the role cooperatives play in an age of economic realignment. For a complete list of session topics and speakers, visit www.mra-services.com/clients/woccu/2008/program.asp.
WOCCU will also hold its annual awards ceremonies during the conference to honor individuals and institutions that demonstrate the true nature of the cooperative spirit. Honors include individual and organizational winners of the Distinguished Service Award and the WOCCU Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) Program, which will award scholarships to five of the 19 international applicants participating in this year's program at the conference. In recognition of their outstanding leadership in the international credit union system, the five winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to next year's conference in Barcelona, Spain.
The World Credit Union Conference is an annual event organized by WOCCU and the host country.
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, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.