Representatives from Japan’s Agricultural and Fishery Cooperative Savings Insurance Corp. and the Norinchukin Institute got a lesson on credit unions when they visited California Agribusiness Credit Union.California Agribusiness CEO Adam Denbo, his executive team and California Credit Union League Director of CU Development Tena Lozano described the structure of the NCUSIF, the difference between state and federally chartered credit unions, the corporate credit union structure, and issues credit unions currently face.“The meeting went far better than expected, with mutual sharing of information. We studied the culture and were well prepared, and they understood and valued our perspectives,” Denbo said. “We each shared our concerns about the global economy as well as ideas regarding how regulators could deal with current balance sheet risks of financial cooperatives.”The representatives included Deputy Governor Hiroaki Funamoto and Deputy Director of the Planning Division Mitsugi Nakashima of the Agricultural and Fishery Cooperative Savings Insurance Corp. Both Funamoto and Nakashima asked questions about the present state of agricultural finance and how California Agribusiness Credit Union fits within that specific marketplace.Japan Economist Shinya Furue, who works in the financial and investment division of the Norinchukin Research Institute, expressed interest in brining the credit union business model back to Japan. He showed particular interest in how credit unions build and retain relationships with members and traveled to community development credit unions, Mission SF Federal Credit Union and Northeast Federal Credit Union in San Francisco.“I was particularly impressed with the depth of knowledge these gentlemen possessed concerning our industry and the latest issues we face,” Lozano said. “It was wonderful to witness the exchange of ideas and to see their interest in the credit union business model.”–[email protected]

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