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WOCCU Peru CUs launch shared-branching network
LIMA, Peru (10/24/08)--The World Council of Credit Unions and FENACREP, Peru’s national credit union federation, last week launched Kuskanet, Peru’s first national shared branching network. WOCCU’s program in Peru is funded by the U.S. Sgency for International Development and implemented in partnership with FENACREP.
Presenting Kuskanet to consultants at the launch event are, from left: Steve Schaefer, World Council of Credit Unions program manager; Manuel Rabines, FENACREP CEP; and Carlos Nolazco, WOCCU-Peru financial adviser. (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
Three credit unions are part of Kuskanet: Finatel in Lima, San Francisco in Huanuco and San Martin de Porres in Tarapoto. The credit unions have 13 points of service across four departments--Peru’s equivalent of states. The network expects to add four more credit unions by the end of the year and plans to launch ATM and debit card services. “Kuskanet will enable credit unions to offer services that other Peruvian financial institutions offer the market, which would be very difficult for each credit union to do individually,” said Luis Jimenez, WOCCU’s Peru program director. “On the basis of scale economies, the credit unions will now be able to offer financial services through the network that they couldn’t in the past. We expect that affiliating with Kuskanet will favor an increase in membership, and therefore strengthen credit union growth in Peru.” “From the Peruvian Andes to the most remote Amazon villages and from Lima to other coastal cities in the country, credit union members will now be able to make deposits or withdrawals of money at credit union branches outside their communities, where members will be served as if they were at their own credit union,” added Manual Rabines, FENCREP CEO and a member of the WOCCU board of directors. “Kuskanet will bring to more people, especially those in impoverished situations, better access to appropriate, dignified and convenient financial services,” he added. Credit unions represent less than 5% of the country’s financial system. There are no credit unions that offer ATM or debit card services, and few credit unions offer members the possibility to perform inter-branch transactions, which are possible only through credit union-to-credit union agreements, according to WOCCU. Kuskanet comes from the word “kuska,” which means “together.”
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