WOCCU Chairman Encourages New Zealand CU Legislators to Consider Regulation Change
NZACU CEO Doug McLaren with WOCCU director Neil McDonald, Hon. Dr. Michael Cullen; Deputy Prime Minister and L.R. (Bobby) McVeigh; WOCCU board chairman.
Madison, WI – "Governments often don't
the value of credit unions," says L.R. (Bobby)
McVeigh, chairman of World Council of Credit
Unions, Inc. (WOCCU). He continued, "In many
areas of the world, credit unions have provided
alternatives to moneylenders and loan sharks, as
well as high interest banks, by providing lower
fee services, lower interest rates on loans, and
higher deposit interest rates. Credit unions
have a reputation for treating their members
fairly, regardless of the amounts they borrow and
save. But in New Zealand, credit unions have
legal restrictions on membership and growth that
don't allow them to be as competitive as they
New Zealand credit unions can accept deposits
only up to $250,000, can draw members only from
within a small geographic area and who share a
common bond, and are not allowed to market
themselves as a bank, despite offering most core
(l-r) WOCCU director Neil McDonald and L.R. (Bobby) McVeigh; WOCCU board chairman, Ron Donald; Green Party Co Leader and NZACU CEO Doug McLaren.
McVeigh notes that governments often don't
recognize the value of credit unions. "The
bottom line for governments is that they should
be promoting competition. Every person should
have the option of becoming a member of a credit
union." Because of credit union efforts, they
may get that chance; with Commerce Minister Pete
Hodgson has promised changes to this law. "The
legislation has to be changed, and some new
legislation crafted, to allow the credit unions
to become more competitive, to become a viable
choice for consumers in New Zealand," said
In Canada, one in two people is a member of a
credit union. In New Zealand, one in twenty
people is a member. Not only would changing the
law give the New Zealand financial system the
competition it needs to keep the moneylenders at
bay, it could enable credit unions to increase
their international profile.
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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, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.