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08 de noviembre de 2004

WOCCU & CUNA Meet With Sarbanes On Remittances

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WASHINGTON (11/9/04)-Representatives of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) met with staff in Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) office yesterday to clarify a few questions Sarbanes' staff had on how the International Remittances Network (IRnet) works and how credit unions target their members to provide remittance services.

In attendance was CUNA's Gary Kohn, vice president of legislative affairs and senior legislative counsel, and Katie Herberger, manager of legislative affairs. Representing WOCCU was Dave Grace, senior manager of association services, and Molly Schar, governmental affairs manager.

CUNA and WOCCU's representatives also discusses how Sarbanes' remittances bill would impact the current service that is provided through credit unions and IRnet. WOCCU also provided sample receipts and marketing information that credit unions provide to their members regarding the services. WOCCU already discloses exchange rates and fees and in Spanish and English in marketing materials.

CUNA and WOCCU endorsed Sarbanes' bill, the International Remittance Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (S. 2868).

This legislation closely mirrors consumer disclosure practices credit unions already voluntarily offer, and seeks to expand credit unions' ability to offer remittances, money orders and check cashing services to better serve consumers, CUNA and WOCCU stated in their letters.

"CUNA and WOCCU believe it would be possible for our member credit unions to implement the requirements of this legislation, and we fully support the intent of this legislation to provide greater disclosures and consumer protections, particularly in the immigrant communities," the associations wrote in an Oct. 19 letter endorsing the bill. "We do ask, however, that a sufficient period of time be allowed to implement these requirements upon enactment of the legislation."

CUNA and WOCCU strongly support the provision to allow credit unions to offer remittance, money order and check cashing services to non-members within the field of membership. "This will enable credit unions to reach many individuals in the underserved and immigrant communities that typically do not use formal banking institutions and are forced to use high-priced money transmitting businesses. Credit unions would then have an opportunity to educate and build trusting relationships with these individuals, encouraging them to join a financial institution so they have access to all financial benefits," they said.

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

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