WOCCU Helps Strengthen Russian CU System
(L-R) Vadim Kalinichev; General Director of the Russian Credit Union League; Deborah Matz, NCUA board member; and Vladimir Lukov, Deputy Director of Financial Policy in the Finance Ministry of the Russian Federation at NCUA.
Madison, WI-As part of a World Council
development activity Russian financial leaders
Vadim Kalinchev, Deputy Head of Apparatus
Committee for Financial Markets & Monetary
Turnover in Council of Federation (Upper Chamber
of Russian Parliament) and Vladimir Lukov, Deputy
Director of Department for Financial Policy in
Finance Ministry of Russian Federation traveled
to Washington, DC and New York to learn more
about the United States credit union system and
its regulatory framework.
In New York the Russian delegation met with
NY State Credit Union League and learned more
about the state league activities. Kalinchev
highlighted the role of the Russian CU League,
noting, "The League and other finance policy
representatives are looking into different
models/credit union structures. I see the
League's role as providing training to credit
union staff and leaders in order to promote the
use of credit unions to the public."
"These are dynamic leaders and we expect
things to happen in the credit union movement
from henceforth. Both are connected and have a
good understanding of the role credit unions can
play in the Russian financial system," noted
Cassie Rademaekers, WOCCU program specialist,
Europe, Asia & Africa.
(L-R) Alexander Sergeenkov, Deputy Chief of Staff, Committee of Finance, Russian Parliament; Michael Castellana, President of SEFCU, Albany NY; Vladimir Lukov, Deputy Director of Financial Policy in the Finance Ministry of the Russian Federation, Vadim Kalinichev, General Director of the Russian Credit Union League; and Patrick Calhoun, CEO of SEFCU in the lobby of the SEFCU offices.
State Employees Federal Credit Union in
NY, the 64th largest credit union in the country,
and Baybridge Credit Union in Brooklyn, NY, a
community development credit union also hosted
the delegation, giving them a view of credit
unions of various sizes who effectively serving
diverse fields of membership.
During the delegation's visit they were able
meet with the National Credit Union
Administration and the National Association for
State Credit Union Supervisors to learn how they
could strengthen legislation and regulation to
protect credit unions in their own country.
Topics covered included regulatory authority and
process, enforcement, analysis and methodology
and prudencial management requirements. NCUA
chairman JoAnn Johnson noted, "Russia has a
number of challenges as it embarks on
strengthening its financial sector. Emerging
small businesses have limited access to capital.
As Russia strives for a high quality financial
sector and embarks on financial reform, credit
unions can go a long way to help their members
sustain prosperity over the long term."
While in DC the delegation also met with the
Credit Union National Association to gain a
better understanding of the national credit
union system structure, legislative activities,
and products and services provided to U.S. credit
Current statistics show 529 credit unions in
Russia serve over 350,000 credit union members.
Credit unions were formed in 1993 and today most
credit unions are small, with only 42 considered
to be large. Russian credit unions are thought
of to be social mechanisms as well as financial
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, 60,500 credit unions in 109 countries serve 223 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.