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Chinese officials visit U.S. CU movement
MADISON, Wis. (12/17/07)--Seven officials from Chinese cooperatives, regulatory agencies and the People's Bank of China (PBC) spent a week observing the U.S. credit union operations and visiting regulators and trade association officials to learn how U.S. credit unions operate.
Click to view larger imageYu Li, center, research bureau director for the People's Bank of China, is welcomed by Dan Mica, president/CEO of the Credit Union National Association, on her left, and Ralph Swoboda, World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) China consultant, on her right, during the Chinese delegation's visit. Other delegation participants are from left: Amy Yin Jin, Lei Zhijian, Zhang Ruibin, Liu Naiyun, Sun Yong, Zhang Li, Zhang Mingquan and WOCCU staffer Dave Grace. (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
They hope to transfer the knowledge gained to China's growing cooperative movement. The delegation arrived in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 8 and met with government and trade association officials before flying cross-country to visit credit unions in southern California. "The Chinese delegation came to learn from the most developed credit union movement in the world," said Pete Crear, president/CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), which hosted the delegation. He noted the visit provides "tangible examples of the roles credit unions play and how effective credit unions can be in serving their members," Crear said. Delegates from PBC and the Guizhou (China) Provincial Rural Credit Cooperative Union (RCCU) visited the National Credit Union Administration, and the Washington offices of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and WOCCU. Discussion topics included insurance and examination procedures, credit union operations and public and congressional affairs. "We were impressed by the extensive network of rural cooperative financial institutions that have been established in China and the people's dedication to helping those of modest means in rural areas develop some degree of financial security," said Dan Mica, president/CEO of CUNA. "We hope they learned from their visit with us not only how credit unions are regulated in this country, but how credit unions go about making their voices heard by government officials through unfettered advocacy efforts," Mica said. The trip follows earlier visits WOCCU officials made to China to assess the country's cooperative movement and the likelihood of developing credit unions there. They plan to continue those efforts in additional meetings during WOCCU's World Credit Union Conference July 13-16 in Hong Kong. In California, the delegation met with officials at Arrowhead Central CU, WesCorp FCU and the California Credit Union League. The group visited multiple branches of San Bernardino-based Arrowhead to examine different ways it serves its members, said Arrowhead President/CEO Larry Sharp. The last of the delegation will depart Los Angeles today for Beijing.
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