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LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. – The Arizona Credit Union League has become the latest state league to join with the World Council of Credit Unions in setting up a partnership with a foreign CU – in this case, Caha Libertad of Querataro, Mexico. The WOCCU’s program, which counts 16 leagues in its cooperative and sharing program, seeks to build relationships between state Leagues and CU movements in developing nations. Announcement of the new tie came in a keynote speech at the League’s annual meeting here given by Arthur Arnold, WOCCU’s president and CEO. “You will hear from your president that your League” has agreed to the partnership pact which involves Arizona CUs sharing their marketing and managerial expertise with the Mexican CU, Arnold told attendees. The agreement would have occurred months earlier, explained ACUL President Gary Plank, but the League had made other funding priorities to help overseas CUs hit by Hurricane Mitchell some years ago. But the League Board, said Plank, agreed to join the program now and expects the partnership with the Mexican CU to begin in earnest in July. In his remarks to the League meeting, Arnold called on Arizona credit union executives to work harder at “communicating and practicing the credit union difference” in helping the “have nots” particularly in underdeveloped nations build CUs in their countries. CUs through the WOOCU have made great strides in reducing sky-rocketing and what he said are incredible delinquency ratios in some of those countries. He cited the Philippines where the delinquency ratio was reduced from 65% to 10% in three years, while CU membership climbed from 30,000 to 218,000. Arnold also noted that commercial banks have in many cases shunned their financial development role in those countries, but the CU mission makes it urgent that the industry step forward. By extending themselves to the poor, he said CUs can make a contribution to reducing terror around the globe, added Arnold. WOCCU’s Partnership Program, now with Arizona participation, fosters the sharing of information and experiences through exchange visits between partnered state leagues and interested countries. Ongoing relationships, said WOCCU, bring about educational, marketing, and materials exchanges. Other funding partners beside state leagues include the U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Central CU. -

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