Madison, WI-Through a World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) People to People partnership—formed between WOCCU-Bolivia, Corporate One Federal Credit Union and the Ohio Credit Union League—two high-level officials from the Bolivian Superintendency of Banks, Mr. Efrain Camacho, Bolivia's deputy director of the Superintendency and Waldo Salina, Bolivia's head of Non-Bank Financial Institutions traveled to Ohio to learn about credit unions. The partnership welcomed the opportunity to acquaint their guests with the corporate system and the services provided by second-tier credit union entities in the United States. They also encouraged WOCCU-Bolivia's efforts to establish a Central Finance Facility for supervised credit unions in Bolivia.
During their visit, the staffs of Corporate One and the Ohio Credit Union League apprised Camacho and Salinas of their services and also had the opportunity to meet "regulator-to-regulator" with Kent Buckham, director, Office of Corporate Credit Unions at the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Ken Roberts, deputy superintendent of the Division of Financial Institutions at the Ohio Department of Commerce.
"One of the great challenges for Bolivian credit unions is reaching greater efficiencies and achieving greater outreach to bring the vast number unbanked citizens into the financial system. A Central Finance Facility would greatly further these efforts, now we just have to find the appropriate mechanism within the regulatory framework," said Julio Fernandez, Bolivia project director for WOCCU. "Having the support of both Corporate One Federal Credit Union and the Ohio Credit Union League is invaluable to helping us to set up a Central Finance Facility," he added.
On the final day of the visit, the Ohio Credit Union League accompanied their Bolivian colleagues for a look at the Western Credit Union and Core One Credit Union to give them first-hand experience with the benefits credit unions receive as a result of having access to corporate and league services.
For the partnership's next activity, representatives of Corporate One will travel to Bolivia to assist with designing the technology network for the second-tier entity and conducting feasibility studies to ensure financial sustainability. The partnership is unique in that Corporate One is the first corporate credit union to enter directly into a partnership as a signatory.
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.