Representatives from credit unions in Australia, Canada and the United States recently came together discuss solutions to common industry challenges.
The 17 leaders from the Credit Union Central of Canada, CUNA, Australia's Customer Owned Banking Association and the World Council of Credit Unions met in Sydney, Australia last week to talk about credit union branding, payments and system evolution and regulatory burden and advocacy challenges.
Among the top advocacy challenges in each of the countries was anti-money laundering, Basel III, capital, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, member business lending and taxation, according to the World Council.
The delegation also visited Bank MECU and Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank in Melbourne, two of Australia's largest credit unions that changed their names to a mutual bank. A side-by-side operation of credit unions and mutual banks in the cooperative financial institution space was led by consumer attitudes and regulatory pressures in Australia, the World Council said.
Under the same legislative, taxation and regulatory framework and subject to decreasing consumer awareness, larger Australian credit unions have taken on the name mutual bank and share the common theme of customer-owned banking.
One of the top challenges faced by World Council members and credit unions around the world is the ability to provide payment solutions that respond to consumer demand, the council said. A workshop explored the work of Australian payments agent, Cuscal, to discuss strategies of collaboration or piloting to help position credit unions in payments services to credit unions.
Other areas that were examined included governance challenges and sustainability of small institutions influence the evolution of each system and non-traditional competitors.
Brian Branch, president/CEO of the World Council, said the weeklong meeting with the delegation will help the council with valuable lessons that it can share with the rest of the credit union world that face common branding, payment and regulatory challenges.