Madison,WI-World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) Board Chairman L. R. (Bobby) McVeigh, addressed attendees of the 37th Annual General Meeting of the Credit Union League of Hong Kong (CULHK), at the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers.
Mr. McVeigh's address praised the CULHK for its performance in 2003, which increased credit union membership in Asia and increased total share balance by 27%. He also congratulated the CULHK's initiative in accepting time deposits for the first time in 2003. Time deposits accounted for the accumulation of $81 million HK in its inaugural year. He thanked the League for its aggressive role in local and overseas training courses and continued involvement in legislative measures to make credit unions more accessible throughout Asia.
McVeigh also stressed the need for credit unions to fill the role as quality financial service providers to those in need throughout, what he referred to as, the global community, "so that credit unions can help people to help themselves." Since, as the Chairman pointed out, "four out of five people in the world community don't have access to safe, sound financial services... they use loan sharks, moneylenders and payday lenders...at interest rates of 150% to 1000%." He believes that, "everyone should have the right to safe, sound financial services," and that credit unions exist to fulfill the role left vacant by other financial institutions so that they can "help people help themselves...since people have the same basic needs, to provide for themselves and their families."
He also praised the role that volunteers play within the Credit Union communities as the, "heart of our communities."
Mr. McVeigh also commended President, Charles Yip, for his leadership and stressed his desire to bring the ACCU back as a full, rather than associate member, of the World Council and have direct membership and seats on the WOCCU Board of Directors.
The Chairman closed his address by presenting the assemblage with challenges for the future. He advised them to remember their roots as they continue to grow. He recommended that they continue to cope with change, especially in the area of legislative initiatives. He pointed out the importance of "expanding the bonds of association," being as inclusive as possible and focusing on marketing to youth. Lastly, he presented a vision for the exploration of new opportunities in mainland China, which he sees as endless, where "the hundreds of millions of peoples there can have the opportunity to learn and be part of one of the best kept secrets in the world, the credit union."
text of the Chairman's address can be found
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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, 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.