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U.S., Canada, Australia Leaders Explore Collaborative Solutions
SYDNEY (10/17/13)--
Click to view larger image At the international workshop on challenges facing credit unions worldwide are, from left: Credit Union Central of Canada President/CEO David Phillips, Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney, Australia's Customer Owned Banking Association CEO Louise Petschler and World Council of Credit Unions President/CEO Brian Branch.
Credit union trade association leaders from the U.S., Canada and Australia met in Sydney last week for a symposium on collaborative solutions to shared industry challenges.

Conference topics included regulatory issues, advocacy, credit union branding, and consumer demands for modern payment systems. Discussions about regulatory constraints focused on Basel III, anti-money laundering statutes, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, member business lending, and strategies about fostering member identification with the credit union brand.

The World Council of Credit Unions--led by President/CEO Brian Branch and Vice President Victor Miguel Corro--coordinated the exchange.

Click to view larger image U.S., Canadian and Australian credit union trade association leaders discuss key issues affecting member credit unions and how to respond to them. (Photos provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
"The challenges are similar, the answers are sometimes different and participants gain new insights from this engagement to apply to their own credit unions and national systems," said Branch. "They also provide World Council with valuable lessons that we can share with the rest of the credit union world who face common regulatory, branding and payments challenges."
 
The American delegation, led by Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney, stressed that Americans tend to choose credit unions when regulatory barriers to membership are minimized, and when they understand the difference between credit unions and banks.
 
The Canadian delegation was led by David Phillips, president/CEO of Credit Union Central of Canada, and the host delegation was led by Louise Petschler, CEO of Australia's Customer Owned Banking Association.
 
Joining the leaders were a number of trade association and credit union executives.

From the U.S., Cheney was joined by:
  • Susan Newton, CUNA executive vice president of system relations and American Association of Credit Union Leagues' executive director;
  • Patrick Jury, president/CEO, Iowa Credit Union League;
  • Diana Dykstra, president/CEO, California and Nevada Credit Union League;
  • Pat Wesenberg, CUNA chairman and president/CEO, Central City CU, Marshfield, Wis.; and
  • Dennis Pierce, CEO, CommunityAmerica CU, Lenexa, Kan.

From Canada, Phillips was joined by:
  • Daniel Burns, CUCC chairman;
  • Scott Kennedy, CUCC director;
  • Loretta Elford, CUCC director;
  • Stephen Fitzpatrick, CUCC vice president of corporate services and chief financial officer;
  • Wendy King, senior vice president of government relations, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer, Central 1 CU; and
  • Michael Leonard, president/CEO, Atlantic Central.
Joining Petschler in hosting duties, was COBA head of public affairs, Mark Degotardi.

While in Australia, conference attendees visited a mutual bank and credit union--Bank MECU and Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank in Melbourne. The mutual banking sector in Australia includes credit unions, mutual building societies, mutual banks, cooperative banks and friendly societies, and many Australian credit unions have decided to become mutual banks because of regulatory pressures.


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