National Bank of Ukraine Deputy Governor Addresses 2022 World Credit Union Conference Opening Ceremony

Sergiy Nikolaychuk details the blow Russia’s war has dealt to Ukrainian credit unions

WOCCU

GLASGOW, Scotland—A top official from Ukraine’s financial regulatory authority told industry professionals attending the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Credit Union Conference Sunday that Russia’s war against Ukraine has delivered a serious setback to the country’s credit unions.


“Today, 20 credit unions are located in the territories temporarily occupied (by Russia) since February 24, while 17 credit unions are in combat zones, and another 34 credit unions actually do not perform any activities because most of their staff have evacuated,” said Sergiy Nikolaychuk, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).


Nikolaychuk pointed out that a new credit union law was about to receive final passage in Ukraine’s parliament when the war began, and that a Deposit Guarantee Fund for credit union members is also now stalled. World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) International Advocacy and Credit for Agriculture Producers’ (CAP) Project assisted with the advancement of both reforms.


The virtual appearance by Nikolaychuk followed a plea for those in attendance to donate to Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ (WFCU) Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund, originally established February 27.


“To date, over $1.7 million dollars has been raised from over 1,600 donors, comprised of individuals, institutions, national associations and generous entities outside of the credit union industry. To our Fund donors and their institutions in the audience and with us at WCUC, thank you. Even amid war, credit unions stand strong, serving as financial first responders to those in need,” said Mike Reuter, Executive Director of WFCU, which serves as WOCCU's charitable and engagement arm.


A portion of the funds raised is being designated for humanitarian aid efforts to assist credit union members and displaced Ukrainians. The rest is being earmarked for the long-term recovery and rebuilding of Ukraine's credit union system.


WOCCU and ABCUL welcome attendees

The 2022 World Credit Union Conference is presented by WOCCU in collaboration with the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL).


ABCUL Board Chair Paul Norgrove congratulated attendees on continuing to serve members and assist them with their needs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the cancellation of the last two in-person World Credit Union Conferences.


“We’re honored to host you here today, and after three years without this prestigious event it makes it even more special to have you here,” said Norgrove. “I think you should all give yourselves a round of applause and thank each other, thank the person next to you.”


Rafal Matusiak, CEO of Poland’s National Association of Cooperative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) and Chair of WOCCU’s Board of Directors, said credit unions continue to provide hope in the face of turmoil around the world.


“Thank you all for making many people’s dreams change reality with your daily work. Thanks to you, people have a place to live, have enough food to eat and a life in decent conditions. Dreams can come true, you just have to believe in it,” said Matusiak.