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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Russian credit union officials met with NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson and agency staff to learn more about the American system of credit union regulation and supervision. Vladimir Lukov, Deputy Director of Financial Policy in the Finance Ministry of the Russian Federation, and Vadim Kalinichev, General Director of the Russian Credit Union League, are on a fact finding mission to improve their nation’s credit union system. While at NCUA, Lukov and Kalinichev heard from primary departments concerning regulatory authority and processes, NCUA enforcement authorities, examination analysis methods, prudent management requirements, and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. They are gathering information to assist in developing legislation to empower Russian credit unions and enhance regulation and supervision to strengthen the credit union system and protect member savings. “We always look forward to joining with our international regulatory counterparts to discuss best practices and operational issues for financial cooperatives,” Johnson said. “Russia has a number of challenges as it embarks on strengthening its financial sector. Emerging small businesses have limited access to capital. As Russia strives for a high quality financial sector and embarks on financial reform, credit unions can go a long way to help their members sustain prosperity over the long-term.” Russia originally began forming credit unions in 1865. By 1916, 14,000 credit unions served 8 million members, but in the mid-1930s Russian credit unions had ceased operation. A credit union system reemerged 60 years later and Russia currently has 529 credit unions with 250,000 members.

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