MADISON, Wis. (2/25/08)--Paul Sarbanes, a former Democratic senator from Maryland and the co-author of The Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act, known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, will keynote the World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) 2008 World Credit Union Conference in Hong Kong July 13-16.
Sarbanes, a long-time credit union supporter, plans to review circumstances that led to the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley and its implications for businesses. “The bottom-line message is that everyone should be interested in honesty and accountability, not only consumers, but businesses as well,” he said. “The small percentage of business people who operate dishonestly can have a profound impact. They tarnish everyone, and their actions can have widespread economic consequences.” Sarbanes-Oxley, which was created to hold companies liable for unethical actions, has been credited for transforming the business world and restoring confidence in Wall Street. The legislation applies to credit unions with regard to transparency of financial records, Sarbanes noted. “There has been increasing demand for greater transparency since passage of the legislation, and credit unions have been very high up when it comes to financial accountability.” Credit unions remain very important players in the financial services field. “I like the fact that they are member-owned and member-focused,” Sarbanes told WOCCU. “You’ve also promoted financial literacy, which puts you squarely on the side of your members’ best interests. “Credit unions must remain faithful to their mission and stay close to their members,” he added. “Those are the same concepts WOCCU strongly supports with its development efforts in other countries.”