(St. Louis, MO) The Missouri Credit Union Association welcomed 12 representatives from Barbados credit unions on September 26 – October 2. The visit is part of MCUA's International Partnership with the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. and the Barbados Cooperative and Credit Union League (BCCUL). Representatives from Barbados Public Workers' Co-operative Credit Union, City of Bridgetown Cooperative Credit Union, Light & Power Employees' Credit Union and BCCUL participated in the exchange.
"We saw a variety of organizations, each one willing to share with us information that we will find invaluable as we develop our own credit union," said Carlos Clarke, IT manager for the City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union. "Modeling the league and a corporate along the lines of Missouri's structure can improve our overall industry competitiveness and efficiency and help to make the league selfsufficient." Missouri and Barbados have formally established four target areas for the partnership: shared branching, ATM availability and deployment, debit/credit cards and public/legislative advocacy. During the trip, Barbados representatives visited credit unions and MCUA staff members with expertise in those areas. "We were impressed with the questions they asked, particularly about the balanced scorecard tied to our goals," said Ken Moser, Arsenal Credit Union's vice president of Marketing. "They were very friendly, and also business-savvy. It was a pleasure having them visit us."
Arsenal is one of eight credit unions visited by the Barbados representatives. Other credit union hosts include Anheuser-Busch Employees', Electro Savings, First Missouri, Gateway Metro, St. Louis Community, Vantage, and the West County Shared Branch. "The major difference between our credit union operations and Missouri's is the level of automated and electronic services offered and the acceptance and willingness of your members to use them," noted Susan Dyall, development project officer with the Barbados Public Workers' Co- operative Credit Union. Barbados League staff members also traveled to Jefferson City to learn more about political advocacy.
Along with a review of Missouri credit union's political efforts, Barbados leaders met with representatives from the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Division of Credit Unions Director John Smith, and toured the state capitol. The seven-day visit included some fun activities. During their stop at ABECU, the Barbados visitors met the world-famous Anheuser- Busch Clydesdales. They also took time to tour the area and enjoy a reception with Missouri credit union staff from across the state. "We continue to benefit from a cultural exchange of experience and expertise," said Roshara Holub, MCUA president/CEO, to the Barbados visitors. "Our partnership and having our partners here reminds us of our credit union roots. This is really an example of people- helping-people and your spirit and enthusiasm has rejuvenated many of us."
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives owned by the people who use them. The Missour iCredit Union Association is the trade association representing 176 credit unions and 1.4 million credit union members in Missouri.
El Consejo Mundial de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito es la asociación gremial y agencia de desarrollo para el sistema internacional de cooperativas de ahorro y crédito. El Consejo Mundial promueve el crecimiento sustentable de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y otras cooperativas financieras en todo el mundo a fin de facultar a las personas para que mejoren su calidad de vida a través del acceso a servicios financieros asequibles y de alta calidad. El Consejo Mundial realiza esfuerzos de defensa activa en representación del sistema global de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito ante organizaciones internacionales y trabaja con gobiernos nacionales para mejorar la legislación y la regulación. Sus programas de asistencia técnica introducen nuevas herramientas y tecnologías para fortalecer el desempeño financiero de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y profundizar su alcance comunitario.
El Consejo Mundial ha implementado 290 programas de asistencia técnica en 71 países. A nivel mundial, 56,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 101 países atienden a 200 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en www.woccu.org.