Credit Unions Urge Policymakers to Support Limits on Regulatory Burdens in Effort to Speed Economic Recovery

ENCU and WOCCU representatives meet with key stakeholders in Brussels

WOCCU

BRUSSELS—Representatives from the European Network of Credit Unions (ENCU) and World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) are seeking support this week from the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union (EU) on limiting regulatory burdens on credit unions to help promote access to financial services for everyday Europeans.


ENCU representatives were joined by WOCCU President and CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde and her International Advocacy team in meetings with numerous policymakers to discuss how credit unions can play an important role in the economic recovery of Europe—which is still struggling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.


“Credit unions are often the financial first responders during a time of crisis. However, they need regulations that are tailored to their member-owned cooperative model to help maximize their ability to serve rural or underserved markets,” said Andrew Price, WOCCU Senior Vice President of International Advocacy and General Counsel.


European policymakers appear to be listening, as numerous items under consideration contain language that allows for the proportional tailoring of regulations, including the Digital Operational Resilience Act, which gives national-level supervisors the ability to set standards for credit unions.

On other issues such as sustainable finance, credit unions are being recognized for their role in addressing climate change and the social benefits that the credit union cooperative model brings to financial services. Affordable access to payments systems, capital requirements and many other issues affecting credit unions are also under discussion.


“We must allow credit unions the ability to serve underserved and rural areas that are in need of responsible access to credit. The credit union model represents an ideal way to help ordinary citizens with their financial needs. This is imperative during this time of economic uncertainty in the EU,” said Billy Kelleher, an Irish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) who also co-chairs the European Union Parliamentary Credit Union Interest Group.


Representatives of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), the National Association of Co-operative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) of Poland, the Estonian Union of Credit Cooperatives (EUCC), the Credit Union Movement of North Macedonia (FULM), the Croatian Association of Credit Unions (CACU), and the Credit Unions of Lithuania joined World Council of Credit Unions in sharing their views with various policymakers on how European Union policy can provide regulatory relief for credit unions in Europe.


World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.


World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 87,914 credit unions in 118 countries serve 393 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.