Kenyan Delegates Visit U.S. to Learn More About Credit Union Regulatory Process
MADISON, Wis. - Kenyan government officials recently traveled to Washington to learn more about credit union regulations and the rule making process here. The World Council of Credit Unions hosted the high-ranking delegation, which included the Honorable Peter Kenneth, Kenya's Assistant Minister for Cooperative Development and Marketing; Benjamin Sogomo, Kenya's Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Cooperative Development and Marketing; Justus Kiago, Kenya's Personal Assistant to theMinister; and Lina Oching, commercial attach, Embassy of Kenya. The delegation visit was made possible by a WOCCU supporter contribution made by Pacific Service Credit Union in Walnut Creek, Calif. "It is vital that citizens of every country have the opportunity to better themselves financially and credit unions play a central role in attaining that opportunity," said Tom Smigielski, president of Pacific Service. "We are delighted that the government of Kenya is exploring the contribution credit unions can make to their citizens and the overall economic development of their country." Officials from WOCCU, NCUA, CUNA and NASCUS met with the Kenyan delegation to discuss their agencies' respective roles. The delegation also received an overview the Office of General Counsel and the Federal Credit Union Act including current regulatory framework, regulations and rule making process, the administration, and enforcement powers. The group later focused on analysis methodologies and tools such as early warning signs, on-site examinations and the AIRES (Automated Integrated Regulatory Examination Software) system. Other areas of interest to the delegation were prudential management requirements, loan portfolio analysis, and problem credit union actions. During their stay in Washington, the group visited the offices of Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Edward Royce (R-Calif.) and along with Bruce Foulke, president/CEO of American Heritage Federal Credit Union, met with Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) on Capital Hill. Before returning to Nairobi, the delegation also traveled to Pennsylvania to learn more about second tier organizations and corporate credit unions. The Kenya Union of Savings & Credit Coop. Ltd. regulates Kenyan credit unions or savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs). Kenya has 2,105 SACCOs with a combined asset total of $619 million that serves 1.5 million members.