WOCCU Participates In Meeting of G-8 Finance Ministers
New York City – At the invitation of the
Eight (G-8) Finance Ministers, World Council of
Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) participated in a
private meeting to discuss how to promote
remittance services. World Council was one of
nine private sector entities invited to
participate at the Federal Reserve Bank of New
York to share views and opinions on remittance
and their potential for development with the
world's leading finance ministries.
The session focused on what finance ministries
could do worldwide to facilitate the senders and
receivers of remittances to use depository
financial institutions such as credit unions and
banks to originate or receive remittances. Dave
Grace, WOCCU senior manager of association
services, represented credit unions at the
meeting, stressing the unique role that credit
unions play, relative to other global financial
services firms in serving individuals of low and
"We are pleased to participate in these policy
discussions with leading finance ministries, but
the real test is what actions they will take,"
indicated Grace. He continued, "I think the
evidence is clear that credit unions are having
significant development impact by offering
remittance service to the senders and
Today our message resonated that to further the
impact of credit unions in developing nations
direct access to clearing and settlement systems
Grace indicated specific impediment for credit
unions in this area include that lack of direct
access to clearing and settlement systems in
developing countries and the need to be able to
serve non-member remitters in the United States
to compete with the informal non-bank sector.
Grace also addressed the perceptions of credit
unions as being part of the "informal" sector in
developing countries but part of the "formal"
sector in developed nations. The concern with
this language is that financial ministers from
the G-8 are trying to help credit unions in
developing nations by talking about the use of
the formal sector, but developing country
regulators interpret this as discouraging credit
union involvement since they are seen as
entities in developing countries.
The G-8 countries are comprised of finance
ministries from the United States, Canada,
Germany, France, Italy, Russian and the United
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.