WOCCU Advocates Payment System Access for Credit Unions
The World Bank and Bank for International
Settlements (BIS) recently invited Dave Grace,
Senior Manager of the World Council of Credit
Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) to provide a credit union
perspective on their recent draft of General
Principles for International Remittance Services
during an international conference in Washington,
D.C. During the conference, Grace expressed
WOCCU's strong support for discouraging exclusive
contract arrangements and promoted the need for
transparency of remittance exchange rates and
The World Bank and BIS document recognizes the
important role that credit unions play in
offering remittance services. It does not,
however, go far enough to ensure that credit
unions have equal and competitive access in the
remittance markets, as the Group of Eight Finance
Ministers intended during their Sea Island Summit
Grace emphasized how important it is that the
General Principles guarantee credit unions the
ability to offer remittance services in order to
provide greater access to financial services and
have direct access to national and international
clearing and settlement systems.
"In too many countries, we still encounter
government or commercial bank-sponsored national
clearing and settlement systems that exclude
direct credit union participation," Grace
noted. "This practice can limit credit unions'
growth and ability to effectively compete."
Formal comments on the consultative document
are due to the World Bank and BIS by August 18,
2006. WOCCU has asked its members to submit
comments on the document to Liliana Tangwall, ltangwall@woccu.
org, by July 15, to ensure a strong,
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, 51,000 credit unions in 100 countries serve 196 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.