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Vermont CUs visit Peru CUs
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (11/10/11)--A group of 11 representatives from North Country FCU, South Burlington, Vt., and Vermont FCU, Burlington, Vt., visited Lima, Peru as part of the World Council of Credit Union's (WOCCU's) International Partnership Program.

The group was led by John Benoit, chief operating officer of North Country, Bernie Isabelle, president/CEO of Vermont FCU and Joe Bergeron, president of the Vermont Credit Union Association (Newslines Express Nov. 4).

The group visited the Peruvian trade association, Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito del Perú (FENACREP), then split into separate multi-day meetings with Pacifico, NorthCountry's partner, and Aeulcoop, Vermont FCU's partner.

The credit union partners will learn about each other's operations and their respective countries' governance structures, then determine how their partnerships will evolve in the future.

The Vermont association has been consulting with FENACREP on advocacy, the creation of a deposition insurance system and development of an ATM network and debit card program.

Pacifico and Aelucoop are the second and third largest credit unions in Peru. The largest, Abaco, is partnered with Heritage Family FCU, Rutland, Vt. All three are based in Lima, Peru, and share a Japanese heritage connection, though they have open memberships.

While in Lima, the Vermont group also visited Peru's Congress, where they met with the chair of the Committee on Production, Micro and Small Business and Cooperative Banks.
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