Council of Credit Unions' international partnerships program. It marked the first time a corporate credit union has partnered directly with a national credit union movement.
"We are thrilled to be the first corporate credit union to enter into this type of cooperative arrangement," said John Cassidy, Southwest Corporate president/CEO. "It is our intent to nurture this relationship beyond financial support. We are interested in a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship, and an aggressive exchange of ideas has already begun."
Victor Miguel Corro, WOCCU's international partnerships manager, said the relationship will lean toward technical topics, as corporate credit unions provide services such as payment systems, asset-liability management training, interconnectivity and wire transfers. Credit union leagues, which typically serve as international partners, are more skilled at advocacy efforts on the part of their partner organizations.
"We have been working with corporates very closely for a long time; they play a very important role in WOCCU's development work overseas. To go further and sign a partnership agreement with a country is certainly taking it to the next level," Corro said.
"My hope is that many other corporates work along with WOCCU and lend their expertise to strengthen the industry around the world."
Thirteen Belize credit union delegates, including five from Belize's 13 member credit unions, traveled to Southwest Corporate's Plano headquarters for the event.
"We view Southwest Corporate as part of an evolved credit union system and hope that the knowledge that they have to share with us will help Belize in its mission to have stronger credit unions," said Natalie Goff, BCUL's executive director. "We also hope that Southwest Corporate can learn from the passion that the Belize credit unionists have for their credit unions. We look forward to a long lasting relationship with Southwest Corporate."