BRUSSELS (4/9/14)--Representatives from the European Network of Credit Unions (ENCU) and World Council of Credit Unions met with European Union (EU) policymakers in Brussels last week to discuss the EU's implementation of the Basel III liquidity rules, a draft EU directive on the automatic exchange of tax information--modeled on the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and the EU's aid package to Ukraine.
From left: Pawel Grzesik, National Association of Cooperative Savings and Credit Unions director of Warsaw office, Poland; Brian Branch, World Council president/CEO; Grzegorz Bierecki, World Council chairman; Marian Harkin, Member of the European Parliament, Ireland; and Brian McCrory, World Council director and Irish League of Credit Unions treasurer. (World Council Photo)
ENCU and World Council officials encouraged EU policymakers to include aid to Ukrainian credit unions as part of the EU's 11 billion euro Ukraine support package. There are more than 600 credit unions in Ukraine with nearly 1.1 million members.
The Brussels meeting was held prior to the 2014 European Parliamentary elections, coming this May, and ENCU and World Council advocated better legislative and regulatory outcomes for credit unions throughout the region.
"World Council's European members face complex regulatory challenges that require constant communication with regulators and policymakers to protect their countries' credit unions' interests," said Brian Branch, World Council president/CEO. "With the European Network of Credit Unions' help, World Council will continue giving credit unions a global voice to influence standards that apply at national, regional and international levels."
Although the EU's legislative schedule has slowed because of the impending elections, ENCU and World Council met with the European Commission about the European Banking Authority's report, released in December, which recommended revising Europe's Basel III liquidity rules to help credit unions maintain access to favorable yields on banks term deposits.
In addition, ENCU and World Council met with Commission and EU Council representatives regarding the EU's draft tax information reporting directive modeled on FATCA, which the EU plans to implement by 2017.
ENCU member organizations participating in the Brussels meeting included the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd.; the Estonian Union of Credit Cooperatives; FULM Savings House, Macedonia; the Irish League of Credit Unions; and the National Association of Co-operative Savings & Credit Unions, Poland.
Also participating in the discussions were Pat Jury, president/CEO, Iowa Credit Union League; Anne Cochran, president/CEO, Louisiana Credit Union League; Bruce Foulke, president/CEO, American Heritage FCU, Philadelphia; and Steve Stapp, president/CEO, San Francisco FCU.