NEW YORK (8/13/09)--Credit unions may want to note that Latin American remittances are expected to drop 11% this year because of the global recession and fewer job opportunities for immigrants, according to the Wall Street Journal. Remittances are likely to be $62 billion this year, down from $69 billion last year. The decline is the first drop in global remittances to the region since the Inter-American Development Bank began tracking remittance data 10 years ago. Last year, immigrants averaged 15 money transfers per year. This year, the expected figure is 12. The amount sent in transfers is expected to average $230, down from $241, the newspaper said. Many credit unions offer remittance services to Hispanics. In May, News Now reported that remittances to the Caribbean and Latin America would likely decline this year for the first time in a decade. The trend will impact credit unions, according to the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). About 109 U.S. credit unions participate in WOCCU’s IRNet, a remittance service operated by WOCCU Services Group. The service sends remittances in eight countries and has sent 148,000 transactions, valued at $80 million, since its inception in 2001 (News Now May 21).