TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Florida Credit Union League and Confedera????o Interestadual das Cooperativas Ligadas ao SICREDI, a trade association for Brazilian credit unions, signed the World Council of Credit Unions' 27th international partnership the week of April 7.
Victor Miguel Corro, manager of WOCCU's International Partnerships Program, said the duo is unique because both partners originate from developed credit union movements.
"It will be interesting to see the interaction of two peers in advancing their respective credit unions to deliver enhanced products and services," he said.
Five Florida credit union and league representatives traveled to Porto Alegre, Brazil to meet with SICREDI executives and discuss areas of cooperation. The partnership will focus on international shared branching, reducing the cost of remittances and staff exchanges in the areas of technology, marketing and financials.
Given the role Florida plays as a popular vacation destination for many Brazilians, Florida credit unions are also looking into providing some services to Brazilian travelers through shared branching.
SICREDI's business model looks a lot like U.S. leagues 30 years ago, with the association owning a central bank that provides back-office support and services to its 130 member credit unions. SICREDI credit unions share the same branding in each of their service centers, and though collectively part of the same network, each credit union has its own governance structure and management.
"As we live in an increasingly interconnected world, SICREDI adopted as one of its core activities the internationalization of our institution," said Alcenor Pagnussatt, CEO of SICREDI and a WOCCU director.
"In every country we visit, we look for best practices to continually advance and modernize SICREDI credit unions. We are very happy to now have a direct link with the U.S. through the Florida Credit Union League."