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WASHINGTON — After a more than six-year political battle, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki signed a measure to create a stronger regulatory structure for the country’s credit unions, known there as savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs).“This is a significant step for Africa’s SACCO movement,” said Brian Branch, World Council of Credit Unions executive vice president/chief operating officer who helped spearhead the initiative. “SACCOs have grown quickly and are major providers in Kenya’s financial market. As such, they have come under increased popular pressure for greater levels of prudential supervision designed to protect SACCO members.”The new legislation will bring greater order to a segment of the financial services industry. The measure establishes a deposit guarantee fund, requires SACCOs to meet certain liquidity requirements to remain competitive, and enable SACCOs to offer money transfers and diversify revenue sources.Among the groups that helped pass the measure were WOCCU, the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives Ltd., WOCCU’s member organizations, and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association and several of its member credit unions.–[email protected]

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