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New Zealand Bill Would Give CUs Legal Status
WELLINGTON, N.Z. (6/28/13)--A member of New Zealand's Parliament announced he will introduce a bill aimed at providing legal status to credit unions in that country.

Credit unions operate under the Friend Society and Credit Unions Act of 1982 and are unincorporated entities without their own legal status, said Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, who represents Maungakiekie in Parliament (Scoop Independent News June 27).

The assets of a credit union must held in a trust by credit union trustees, who are also members of a credit union's board, Lotu-liga said, noting that is unusual for a modern financial institution. This adds unnecessary compliance costs, reduces responsiveness of the organization and confuses members of the credit union and public, he said.

The bill would give credit unions their own legal status and would mean they could invest more of their funds in assisting members instead of on compliance.

He noted that the issue was brought to him by the New Zealand Association of Credit Unions, which is a member association of the World Council of Credit Unions.  According to World Council statistics, New Zealand has 22 credit unions serving 195,245 members.


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