New York City – At the invitation of the Group of 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 modest means.
"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 a significant development impact by offering remittance service to the senders and receivers. Today our message resonated that to further the impact of credit unions in developing nations direct access to clearing and settlement systems is necessary."
Grace indicated specific impediment for credit unions in this area include that lack of direct access to clearing and settlement systems in most 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 informal entities in developing countries.
The G-8 countries are comprised of finance ministries from the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Russian and the United Kingdom.
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 www.woccu.org.