Russian Credit Unions Tackle Safe and Sound Legislation and Regulation
Russian Credit Union League board of directors, and WOCCU delegation, Brian Branch, president and CEO (Interim) ; and board chairman, L.R. (Bobby) McVeigh meet with Credit Union Rainbow in Moscow
Madison, WI-The Russia Credit Union League
recently launched a campaign to improve credit
union legislation despite serious bank
opposition. Current legislation limits the size
of credit unions to only 2,000 members. Many
credit unions either already exceed these limits
or find that their restricted size severely
limits the range of services they can provide.
The Russia Credit Union League has begun policy
dialogue with the Parliament, Central Bank and
Ministry of Finance to put into place empowering
legislation for credit unions and regulation
supervision systems, which will strengthen the
credit unions' ability to protect member
Bobby McVeigh, chairman of the World
of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) and Interim WOCCU
CEO, Brian Branch, met with the Russia Credit
Union League, Parliament and Ministry of Finance
Officials to assure them that WOCCU will work
with them to implement the PEARLS monitoring
system and to assist with the development of
legislation and regulation systems appropriate
for credit unions. McVeigh explained to Central
Bank officials, "Credit unions can provide
financial services to many in Russia who today
are unserved, and to do so will require
legislation which allows them to grow."
The first credit unions appeared in Russia
1865, growing to 14,000 in number and serving
eight million members by 1916. By the mid-
1930's, credit unions had ceased operation under
the Soviet system. It was not until the early
1990's that credit unions restarted in Russia;
today there are more than 500 credit unions
serving 250,000 members.
L.R. (Bobby) McVeigh, WOCCU board chairman (right) meets with Sergei Vasiliev, chairman of the committee on Financial Markets and Monetary Turnover.
The success of credit union development in
Russia has depended in large part on the support
and assistance of the Irish Credit Union League,
which has assisted the Russia Credit Union League
in starting credit unions; by the Soros
Foundation which has supported league operations;
and the Desjardines Society for International
Development which has supported the creation of
new credit unions.
In many rural areas and provincial towns of
Russia there are no formal financial
institutions. Most former state system banks
have closed their offices and private banks do
not exist. Today credit unions have become the
only alternative to provide individuals with
financial services in many smaller
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.
Phone: (608) 395-2000