WOCCU works to Inform World Bank on Effective Credit Union Regulation

March 22, 2005

On March 8th, World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) brought together leading regulators from the National Credit Union Administration and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Canada to educate senior policy makers with the World Bank, Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP) and Inter-American Development Bank on the benefit and options for direct supervision of credit unions.

At the end of 2004, WOCCU learned that the World Bank's Financial Sector Policy Unit is in the process of conducting a year-long study on cooperative financial institutions in developing countries and how best to expand access to such institutions by consumers. It is expected that a significant result of the study will be the formulation of policy position by the World Bank regarding how they believe cooperative financial institutions should be regulated in development markets.

Len Skiles, Executive Director, and Dave Marquis, Director of Examination and Insurance of the National Credit Union Administration and John Harper, Director of Deposit Institutions at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario provided a detailed technical presentation on how their respective agencies have developed over the years and how they are able to provide direct supervisory oversight of credit unions in a cost effective manner.

"Too often we hear ministries of finance or superintendents of banks indicate that they would like to ensure that credit unions have appropriate supervision but see too many resource constraints in doing so and therefore leave the sector without any prudential oversight," indicated Dave Grace, WOCCU's senior manager of association service. Grace continued, "We are grateful to have the participation of such senior and tenured supervisors to share their experiences in the United States and Ontario; it demonstrates to policymakers that effective supervisory structures, that are totally self supporting based on supervision fees, can be created for the direct supervision of small credit unions."

WOCCU strongly believes that effective prudential supervision is a key ingredient in the development and growth of credit unions and frequently advocates this position with government and policymakers.

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

Phone: (608) 395-2000