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Latin American Regulators Roundtable at forum
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (8/15/08)--The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and Sistema Cooperativo Federado de Ahorro y Credito de Guatemala (FENACOAC), the Guatemalan credit union association, are hosting credit union representatives and regulators from 12 countries this week at WOCCU’s Latin American Regional Forum.
Manuel Bolanos (left), CEO, Federacion de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Credito de Costa Rica, and Berta Silvia Mena, financial manager of the Federacion de Asociaciones Cooperatives de Ahorro y Credito de El Salvador, speak with participants during the regulators roundtable sponsored by the World Council of Credit Unions and the Guatemalan credit union association in Guatemala.
The forum is taking place in Guatemala City, Guatemala, with 300 attending. This is the first time the forum is open to non-WOCCU members and the first time Latin American regulators have participated in regional roundtable discussions. A regulators roundtable was last hosted at the WOCCU World Credit Union Conference in Hong Kong in July. Twenty-five regulators from 10 countries attended Tuesday’s Latin American Regulators’ Roundtable. “Throughout Latin America today, credit unions are in a strong and stable position, and both regulators as well as participants in the forum are using this time of growth and stability in the systems to ensure the preparedness of the organizations,” said David Grace, WOCCU vice president, association services.
Regional and local Guatemalan culture was displayed for participants of the Latin American Regional Forum. (Photos provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
“If you have a good system of supervision and control but do not have the capacity in credit unions, not much will happen. If you have capacity but not control, you will see problems. This week, with the roundtable, forum and Manager Certification Program, WOCCU is working on both of these issues in the region--systems of control and building capacity,” he added. The Manager Certification Program is a two-year training program for current and aspiring credit union managers. Other roundtable discussions included building credit unions’ managerial and governance capacity, and applying risk-based and prudential credit union supervision in the region. A representative from Costa Rica’s Superintendent of Financial Institutions led a discussion where regulators reviewed Costa Rica’s 1998 credit union crisis and lessons learned. Participants also are visiting five area credit unions and viewing cultural displays by FENACOAC. Anne Cochran, president/CEO, Louisiana Credit Union League and WOCCU board member, delivered the forum’s opening address. “This shows the dedication and commitment evident in Latin America for enhancing people’s lives through access to credit and savings cooperatives, thus providing financial dignity to thousands of people.”
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