Virginia League, Baltic Region CU Systems Sign Historic Agreement
| Representatives of the Virginia Credit Union League's Partnership Committee celebrate the signing of a new international agreement that encourages information sharing between the Virginia League and the credit union systems in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Pictured (from left): Joe Thomas, CEO of Fairfax County Federal Credit Union; Alison DeTuncq, CEO of the UVA Community Credit Union; Juri Valdov, retired CEO of Northwest Federal Credit Union and chairman of the League's Partnership Committee; and Rick Pillow, president of the Virginia Credit Union League.
The Virginia Credit Union League has signed an agreement that encourages information sharing between the League and the credit unions serving the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The first-ever Baltic Summit on June 22 brought together credit union leaders from all three Baltic nations for a series of presentations on growing the credit union movement in the region and how best to share resources and information to better penetrate each market.
Among the topics of discussion was the newly-formed Baltic Services Company, a venture spearheaded by the Estonian Union of Credit Cooperatives, three of its member institutions, the Virginia League, and others to provide Estonian credit unions with access to the central banking system for Eastern Europe. The company could serve credit unions in Latvia and Lithuania.
"It was truly amazing to be part of this historic international agreement," said Virginia Credit Union League President Rick Pillow. "This agreement better positions our partner credit unions in Estonia for success, ensuring they're able to learn from the successes of credit unions in Latvia and Lithuania, while also being able to cooperatively work toward solutions to shared challenges."
The Virginia League and the Estonian Union of Credit Cooperatives have had a formal partnership since 2008 through the World Council of Credit Unions' International Partnerships Program. This new information-sharing agreement between the Virginia League and the credit union systems in the three Baltic nations marks the first-ever formal international agreement between such organizations signed in Eastern Europe.
It is hoped that the information sharing agreement will lead to positive legislation and regulation for the credit unions in the three nations, training for credit union staff members, new marketing opportunities, and more efficient operations.