WOCCU Seeks Input on Principles of Credit Union Governance

October 26, 2004

Madison, WI – World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) has posted its newly developed Principles of Credit Union Governance for comment, welcoming input on this draft version. WOCCU has developed the principles to address the challenges of organizational power within credit unions at three separate levels. These Principles have already been circulated to the Chief Executive Officers of WOCCU members for review and comment. WOCCU now seeks input from credit unions, members of credit unions and the general public.

The Principles of Credit Union Governance consist of the following levels: external governance, internal governance and individual governance. External governance represents the responsibility of the Board of Directors and management to members and the public at large. It includes areas such as full financial disclosure and transparency, ensuring safeguards and adequate oversight, the need for independent external audits, and compliance with external legal and regulatory requirements. Internal governance addresses the role of delegates representing members in the General Assembly and the election of the Board of Directors and committees; it defines the responsibilities and accountability of the General Assembly, the Board, management and staff. Finally, individual governance deals with individual Board and committee members on issues such as integrity, code of conduct, conflict of interest, and qualifications.

In December of 2003, WOCCU added Good Governance best practices principles as the fourth mission of WOCCU, with the goal of identifying, analyzing, and sharing such practices with the international credit union community. Although all organizations must address the issue of governance, credit unions, as cooperative institutions, face different governance demands than banks and other for-profit institutions, because they must also meet the needs of their members, who are also owners.

Please direct all comments regarding WOCCU'S Principles of Credit Union Governance to Karen Cak Niederkohr at kcniederkohr by November 15, 2004.

To view WOCCU'S Principles of Credit Union Governance, click here.

To learn more about Good Governance, click here.

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