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01 de marzo de 2005

Iranian Credit Unions Reach Out to World Council of Credit Unions

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L.R. (Bobby) McVeigh, WOCCU chairman, poses with Samen Credit Union directors and staff in Isfahan.

Madison, WI—Iranian credit unions extended an invitation to the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) board chairman, L.R. (Bobby) McVeigh, and chief executive officer (Interim) Brian Branch to meet in Iran and discuss the credit union system. WOCCU is currently building credit unions in other Islamic environments in Philippines, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. WOCCU officials traveled to Iran in February to study how credit unions were practicing democratic exercise and providing financial services in the Iranian Islamic Banking environment. Branch noted, "Credit unions develop as the democratic expression of people seeking to help themselves in all environments around the world."

There are currently 1,600 credit unions in Iran serving a reported 5 million members. After the Islamic Revolution and fall of the Shah,commercial banks were nationalized. Personal financial services were difficult for most people to access. Credit unions grew very rapidly. Most are small closed bond groups of less than 5,000 members, yet some are very large with state of the art technology. One credit union visited had 40,000 members and another had a million members. Credit unions serve the financial needs of both individual persons and small businesses.

WOCCU delegation with Mol_Al_Morahedin Credit Union board and staff during a credit union visit

Credit unions have operated under the supervision of the Ministry of Cooperatives and are now coming under the additional scrutiny of the Central Bank. WOCCU officials spent much of the visit explaining to credit union, Parliamentary, Ministry and Central Bank officials about how credit unions around the world are supervised. McVeigh explained, "Credit unions work with member's money and need sound prudential supervision. Yet at the same time, it is critical to protect the credit union uniqueness and its ability to provide services to those who otherwise do not have access." WOCCU officials pledged to assist the Iranian credit unions with adjusting to the process of increased supervision.

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, 57,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 105 países atienden a 217 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en

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