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22 de marzo de 2006

WOCCU Meets with the Reserve Bank of India on Cooperative Banks' Reform

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At the invitation of the Reserve Bank of India, Dave Grace, Senior Manager of Association Services, World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) recently met with the Reserve Bank regarding potential reforms for the country's over 100 years old cooperative banking sector. In meeting with Deputy Governor, Ms Usha Thoroat of the Reserve Bank of India and her senior staff, Mr. Grace discussed governance and competitive pressures faced by financial cooperatives. The meeting was a continuation of an ongoing dialogue between the two organizations regarding appropriate prudential standards and regulatory structure for cooperative banks in India.

Hamstrung by not being granted with full regulatory power to remove officers/board and to force mergers/liquidations, the Reserve Bank of India is hesitant to allow the urban cooperative bank sector to expand and grow. These limitations include a current ban on opening any new branches of existing coop banks, chartering of new coop banks, high liquidity ratios (making profitability challenging) and existing of a second tier wholesale cooperative bank for the sector. This structure is in part the result of coop banks having only state (provincial) level legislation and registration, a federal law for coop banks does not exist.

Separated into urban cooperative banks that are more community based and rural cooperative banks that are more top-down driven with government involvement, together they serve over 330 million clients with a combined $27 billion in assets, giving India the largest financial cooperative sector in the world in terms of individuals served. While generally well capitalized, both the urban and rural cooperative banks are plagued with non-performing assets of 23 percent and 36 percent respectively.

During his trip Mr. Grace also met with representatives of several cooperative banks and federations of cooperative banks. He also visited the National Agriculture and Rural Development Bank, which has supervisory authority for the top two tiers of the rural cooperative banking sector.

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 105 países atienden a 217 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en

Teléfono: (608) 395-2000
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