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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

WOCCU and ENCU Advocate for Support of Credit Unions in Brussels

Advocacy efforts comes at critical time as EU considers major reforms


BRUSSELS—The European Network of Credit Unions (ENCU) together with World Council of Credit Unions met this week with key representatives of the European Union (EU) and select Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) on the EU Payment Package and other regulatory items pending this legislative term.


Eight European credit union associations and World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) comprise ENCU, which serves as a platform to exchange information between countries—and speaks with one voice on European matters.


This year, major policy changes that may dramatically affect credit union operations are in play, including the EU Payment Package, which contains:

  • provisions mandating instant payments.

  • the adoption of a digital Euro.

  • open finance considerations.

  • reforms to the EU Payments Services Directive (PSD2), which governs the underlying payments framework.

Sweeping changes to the supervisory role on AML/CFT framework and further work on sustainable finance issues are also in play.


The potential impact from the various items under consideration could require credit unions to spend precious resources to comply with the requirements to provide instant payments, rework systems to allow for open banking and open finance and create new reporting and regulatory burdens for credit unions.


WOCCU and ENCU are delivering key messages this year to ensure the adequate proportionality necessary to support the credit union not-for-profit cooperative model, while maintaining a level playing field with other financial service providers. WOCCU and ENCU will continue to be engaged through the rest of the year as these policy issues run their course.


“As we head toward the EU elections, there remain many 'big ticket' items left on the agenda. It is critical that credit unions are properly considered so that they can continue their crucial role of serving their communities. Our members’ presence here this week is effectively making the case that credit unions play a vital role in providing responsible and affordable financial services in the EU,” said Andrew Price, Senior Vice President of International Advocacy and General Counsel for World Council of Credit Unions.


Meetings this week included a visit with Ambassador Thomas Hanney, Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU, Billy Kelleher, MEP (Renew, Ireland), Alfred Sant MEP (Socialists and Democrats, Malta), along with other key policy makers from the Commission and the Council.


Members of ENCU include the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), National Association of Co-operative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) of Poland, Croatian Association of Credit Unions (CACU), Federation of Romanian Credit Unions (FEDCAR), Estonian Union of Credit Cooperatives (EUCC), North Macedonia's FULM Savings House and the Dutch Association of Cooperating Credit Unions (VSK).


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.

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