Ukrainian Credit Union Stakeholders Learn Best Practices from Lithuanian Colleagues Amid Implementation of New Law
USAID/WOCCU CAP Project facilitates study tour of Lithuania’s credit union sector
November 29, 2023
VILNIUS, Lithuania—The USAID/World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project last week helped representatives of Ukraine’s credit union sector prepare to implement the country’s new credit union law by leading them on a study tour to learn the best practices of Lithuanian credit union operations, regulation and supervision.
Government reforms contributed to the steady growth of the Lithuanian credit union movement by allowing central credit unions to serve an important role as self-regulatory organizations, which helped the sector focus on meeting the needs of agricultural producers and other micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
With Ukraine's newly adopted Credit Union Law providing Ukrainian Central Credit Unions with more responsibilities and enabling credit unions to serve legal entities, this four-day learning opportunity in Vilnius and Kaunas was crucial for stakeholders from the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), including First Deputy Governor Kateryna Rozhkova, Ukraine's Deposit Guarantee Fund (DGF), represented by Deputy Managing Director Olha Bilai, the All-Ukrainian Credit Union Association and Ukrainian United (Central) Credit Union to acquire knowledge on:
- building an enabling framework for strengthening credit union apex organizations.
- introducing proportional regulation and supervision for credit unions.
- digitalizing credit union services to better meet small and medium-sized business needs.
- implementing a deposit guarantee system.
- preparing for European Union (EU) requirements in financial services markets under Ukraine's approximation to EU laws.
“Joint efforts of the CAP Project and its partners paid off when a new Law of Ukraine On Credit Unions was adopted earlier this year, which will be a cornerstone of the sector’s rebuilding. With new opportunities, new challenges and changes are inevitable. Learning from those who already implemented successful credit union reforms, like our Lithuanian colleagues, will help Ukrainian credit unions find the right way to grow and thrive,” said Ewa Sierzynska, Chief of Party for the CAP Project.
Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, in July passed the new law updating the country’s legal framework governing the operations of credit unions, which laid the foundation for a level playing field for credit unions in the financial services market. WOCCU International Advocacy and the CAP Project had been developing and advocating for the adoption of the new credit union law since 2016, and continue to provide technical assistance to amend the country’s Law on Deposit Guarantee Fund, making it possible for credit unions to join the system.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform 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 90 countries. Worldwide, 82,758 credit unions in 97 countries serve 404 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.