International Partnership Lobbies for Specific Panama CU Legislation
Iowa Credit Union League Meets with Ambassador of Panama in Washington, DC
Iowa Credit Union League and World Council of Credit Union representatives pose with the Ambassador of Panama after meetings at the Panama Embassy in Washington, DC. Above l-r: Murray Williams, Victor Corro, Kimberly Johnston, Ambassador Federico Humbert, Pat Drennen and Pat Jury.
Madison, WI—As part of the World Council of
Credit Unions' (WOCCU) International
representatives from WOCCU and the Iowa Credit
Union League met with the Ambassador of Panama,
Federico Humbert; trade attaché, Diego Ferrer;
and legal counselor, Isabel Fernandez this week
to lobby for credit union specific legislation
for Panamanian credit unions.
The credit union delegation consisted of Iowa
Credit Union League CEO, Pat Jury; vice
president Murray Williams; ICUL board member and
1st Gateway Credit Union CEO, Pat Drennen; along
with World Council staff: Victor Corro,
international partnership manager; Barry Lennon,
senior manager, Washington, DC office and Kim
Johnston, marketing and communication officer.
Discussions highlighted the impact the
International Partnership has made over the last
two years, while helping to strengthening its
partner, COFEP and focused on the need to
introduce specific legislation in the Panamanian
Parliament that would create direct oversight
and specific regulations for credit unions.
l-r: Barry Lennon, Pat Drennen, Diego Ferrer, Victor Corro, Isabel Fernandez, Murray Williams and Pat Jury conclude their meeting.
Credit union specific regulation is the
focus for the Iowa-Panama International
Partnership in 2007. "The goal of regulating
the Panamanian credit union industry in a way
that resembles WOCCU's Model Law will only
strengthen the credit union system, and
ultimately benefit the member," said Mr.
Mr. Jury explained, "Iowa's position is to
Panama's credit unions with training and
implementation aspects to get them ready for new
legislation." "We have already spoken with high
ranking officials in the Panama government
regarding WOCCU's Model Credit Union Law and
it's our belief that not only is credit union
specific legislation necessary, we also feel
strongly that financial cooperatives should be
regulated by a financial entity," Mr. Jury
Although Panama is one of the international
banking centers and banks operate in a highly
regulated environment, the government does not
view or regulate credit unions as financial
When Attache Ferrer inquired about the
that the Iowa League receives from the
partnership, Mr. Drennen explained, "Credit
unions are cooperative in nature, its part of
our philosophy. However, this is a
collaborative partnership and we get as much out
of it as we are putting in." Since signing the
International Partnership the Iowa league has
added a division to better serve the underserved
market of its membership base.
At the conclusion of the meeting Attaché
shared that he would present a letter written by
the Iowa Credit Union League regarding
regulation to the Superintendent of Banks, Mr.
Barrelier during his visit to Washington, DC
For more information on World Council of
Unions International Partnership Program, please
contact Victor Corro at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.