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.
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 103 países atienden a 208 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en www.woccu.org.