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International CU Regulators Issue Governance Guidelines
SAN DIEGO (4/19/13)--The International Credit Union Regulators' Network (ICURN) this week issued a new guiding principles document, Enhancing Governance of Cooperative Financial Institutions at the ICURN Annual Conference in San Diego.

Click to view larger image Forty-eight credit union regulators from 23 countries attended the International Credit Union Regulators' Network Annual Conference in San Diego this week. (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
"Cooperative financial institution governance is in many respects the most important line of defense in terms of maintaining safety and soundness, and cooperative financial institutions globally face similar governance challenges," said Andy Poprawa, ICURN chairman and CEO of the Deposit Insurance Corp. of Ontario, Canada.

"These new guiding principles will help many institutions and their boards understand better their responsibilities and give a road map on how to manage an institution so that it serves its members' needs to the greatest extent possible," he added.

The ICURN guidance incorporates 17 elements considered desirable in facilitating effective governance of cooperative financial institutions, including credit unions and savings and credit cooperative organizations.

The elements include:

  • Directors' responsibilities and minimum qualifications;
  • Oversight of senior management;
  • Senior managers' roles in maintaining safe and sound institutions;
  • Effective internal controls;
  • Compensation;
  • Transparency and disclosure to members; and
  • The role of regulators in monitoring cooperatives' corporate governance and taking remedial action when appropriate.
The document builds on prior ICURN guidance on cooperative financial institutions supervision. In September 2011, ICURN issued Guiding Principles for Effective Prudential Supervision of Cooperative Financial Institutions, which incorporated 21 principles conducive to developing an effective supervisory system for financial cooperatives.

At this year's ICURN Annual Conference, 48 regulators from 23 countries in Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Oceania participated. The National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors and the California Department of Financial Institutions hosted the conference.

ICURN is an independent international network of cooperative financial institution regulators that promotes the guidance given by the leaders of the Group of 20 nations for greater international coordination among financial services regulators.

The network facilitates the sharing of information and positions of common interest among financial cooperatives, initiates research on financial cooperatives and their oversight, identifies best practices and provides direct access to a forum for thought leaders worldwide on issues critical to sound cooperative financial institutions regulation. The World Council of Credit Unions serves as the ICURN secretariat.

For more information about ICURN, visit use the link.
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