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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

WOCCU Urges Proportionality for New Zealand's Credit Union Sector

Meetings with key policymakers include creation of deposit insurance, supervisory reforms as top priorities


WELLINGTON, New Zealand—World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) Senior Vice President of International Advocacy and General Counsel Andrew Price arrived here this week at the request of First Credit Union (NZ) to meet with key policymakers on reforms that will improve and strengthen the country’s credit union sector.  

 

In addition to meetings with several credit unions, the trip included a conversation with Hon. Andrew Bayly, New Zealand Minister of Commerce, and key officials from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), the country’s central bank.


“I hope to bring the international perspective of credit unions to prudential regulators here to show the success that properly tailored regulations play in allowing the credit union member-owned cooperative model to reach more underserved communities,” said Price.

There are currently five credit unions in New Zealand serving approximately 150,000 members, with US $680 million in assets.


“Regulators in New Zealand often take rules designed for banks and apply them to credit unions without consideration of our unique model. This often prevents us from maximizing our service to our members and our communities,” said Simon Scott, CEO of First Credit Union.


Current issues under consideration are the application of Basel Capital standards, IFRS 9-based expected credit loss accounting measures and the addition of deposit insurance to the system.


“Proportional application of these standards could not only increase safety and soundness, but also release the potential of credit unions to increase financial inclusion and posture them as economic drivers for local communities,” said Price, who also met with the Financial Services Federation, which represents other non-banking financial institutions in New Zealand.


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, 82,758 credit unions in 97 countries serve 404 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.

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