July 8, 2004, Washington, D.C. – Remarks yesterday by United States Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) appeared in the Congressional Record today, a move by Kaptur to encourage her Congressional colleagues to continue to fund international credit union development. Kaptur met last month with Mexican credit union officials and representatives of the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
"Mr. Speaker, more than 85 million Americans are familiar with the benefits offered by credit unions of a safe place to save, a place to get a good deal on a consumer or home mortgage loan and solid advice on how to manage their families' financial affairs," said Kaptur in the statement. "However, not everyone in the world has the same advantage of being able to choose to save and borrow at a credit union as we do here in the U.S."
"I encourage Congress, through USAID and other avenues, to continue to fund international credit union development projects that promote the credit union ideal of 'people helping people to help themselves,' and encourage the World Council of Credit Unions to continue its important work of making credit union membership available throughout the world, especially to those in underdeveloped countries," she continued.
The officials from Mexico's two largest credit unions, Caja Popular Mexicana and Caja Libertad, were in Washington in late June for meetings at the Treasury Department, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and with a number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. During their meetings in Washington, the officials explained the increase in stability and outreach of their institutions since beginning to work with WOCCU and highlighted the importance of private sector-led credit union development.
Accompanying the Mexicans were their U.S. credit union "partners" through WOCCU's International Partnership Program. The credit union leagues of California and Texas are partnered with Caja Popular Mexicana, while Caja Libertad is partnered with the Arizona Credit Union League. Also involved in the International Partnership Program though not involved with this visit, the credit union league of Kaptur's Ohio is partnered with Bolivia.
Brian Branch, WOCCU vice president and COO noted, "This is a good example of how partnerships can broaden their cross border support for international credit union development."
"We at World Council thank Rep. Kaptur and other congressional representatives for their continued support for international credit union development," continued Branch.
Click here to view the speech remarks.
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.