International CU Regulators' Network Issues Supervisory Guidelines

October 11, 2011


MADISON, Wis. — The International Credit Union Regulators' Network (ICURN), an independent international body that promotes greater global coordination among cooperative financial services regulators, has issued Guiding Principles for the Effective Prudential Supervision of Cooperative Financial Institutions. The new document outlines 21 principles conducive to developing an effective supervisory system for credit unions, caisses populaires, savings and credit cooperatives, savings and credit associations and other global financial cooperatives.

Based on the Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision, developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the document's intent is to serve as guiding principles that will help establish an environment to facilitate effective supervision of credit unions and other financial cooperatives. WOCCU serves as the ICURN secretariat.

"We believe that the implementation of these guiding principles by supervisory organizations in all countries which support a cooperative financial services sector would be a significant step toward continuing their excellent record of financial safety and soundness," said Andy Poprawa, ICURN chair and president and CEO of the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario, Canada. "Our network of member countries is committed to these principles as one more tool to enhancing the public's confidence in financial cooperatives."

The 21 guiding principles fall into specific groups that cover the various aspects of appropriate oversight. Those groups include:

  1. Objective, independence, powers, transparency and cooperation
  2. Licensing and ownership
  3. Prudential regulation and requirements
  4. Methods of ongoing supervision
  5. Accounting and disclosure
  6. Enforcement

Although based on the Basel Committee's guidelines, the principles were developed independently by the ICURN steering committee to offer guidance to the organization's members. The goal of the principles is to help ICURN members, who represent a wide range of supervisory structures, develop prudential oversight methodologies appropriate to their individual circumstances.

"Credit unions around the world thrive when they have appropriate prudential oversight to guide their growth and development," said Brian Branch, WOCCU president and CEO. "Assuring that the guidance is appropriate and empowering to credit unions is the goal of the Regulators' Network's new guidelines."

Formed in 2007, ICURN currently has members in 30 countries and jurisdictions. A steering committee of representatives from six regions across the world leads ICURN and assists WOCCU in organizing the annual Regulators' Roundtable. The next roundtable will take place June 18-20, 2012, in Toronto, Canada.

For more information on ICURN and a copy of the guidelines, please visit and click on "Resources."

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 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

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