The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) held a conference and its AGM at The Atlantis Bahamas Hotel in Nassau, the Bahamas from July 28 (local time) for four days. This successful event was attended by 2,252 persons from 61 countries.
Over the four-day period, some 20 topical sessions were held, including keynote lectures, the impact of blockchain technology on credit unions, ways to innovate and improve efficiency of small-sized credit unions, the role of credit unions in the fast-changing 21st century, efforts to improve the satisfaction of union members, and so on. The conference particularly focused on recent developments in technology, such as big data, artificial intelligence and fintech, and the importance of information security.
Meanwhile, Yoonsik Kim, NACUFOK Chairman and the only Asian member of the WOCCU board of directors, attended the 2019 WOCCU board meeting held on the 25th and 26th to speak for the credit unions in Asia. Mr. Kim was also re-elected as the WOCCU director at the 2019 WOCCU annual general meeting held on the 29th. Upon his re-election, Mr. Kim stated his intention to help the financially vulnerable and lead efforts to eradicate poverty around the world by spreading the “embracive” financing pursued by the Korean credit unions, as leaders of credit unions in Asia and the world.
NACUFOK attended the 2019 ACCU Forum and its general meeting which took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from September 24 to 30.
The themes were "Improving quality of life for members through governance,” “The credit union network in Asia,” and “Financial stability," and included 18 topical forums on maintenance of a sustainable cooperative model, sound management and embracive financing of credit unions, the future of credit unions in the digital era, strengthening the relationships between members and policies to support small businesses, etc.
The event was attended by 550 CEOs and officials from 23 countries, including the United States, Canada and Australia, as well as Asian member countries, making it the largest credit union event in Asia. A delegation of 56 members from NACUFOK also attended.
At this year’s ACCU general assembly, the credit union federations from Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea were promoted to regular membership and the Shinkumi Banks Association of Japan was admitted as an associate member.
In March, 34 employees of the Hong Kong Prison Officers’ Credit Union visited the Seoul National University Branch of Deunsol Credit Union.
The delegates from Hong Kong were mainly members of the board of directors and they learned about the history and the role of Korean credit unions. They were particularly interested in Korean credit union activities aimed at creating jobs and working out measures to tackle unemployment among young people by working with a variety of institutions. They were also very interested in the tax-exemption benefits offered by Korean credit unions.
The Hong Kong credit union federation was promoted to regular ACCU membership at the ACCU general meeting in September 2019.
NACUFOK hosted the 32st NACUFOK Exposure Program, from May 27 to 31 at its Seoul Headquarters and Geumbit Credit Union in Jeju. It was attended by the employees of Asian credit unions.
This year, 11 credit union employees from the 4 countries of Nepal (2 persons), Thailand (4 persons), the Philippines (4 persons) and Malaysia (1 person) participated. The Program focused mainly on the history and factors of success for the credit union movement in Korea, the credit and cooperative businesses of NACUFOK, the supervision and depositor protection systems, and so on. In addition, the Program provided opportunities to gather information on the credit unions of different countries and to strengthen the international exchange network through the sharing of experiences by credit union employees from other Asian nations.
For the 32nd time, NACUFOK invited the leaders of credit unions in Asia to work with it in helping all Asian credit unions to grow together through the sharing of development expertise and operational skills of Korean credit unions, and covered the entire cost of their stay in Korea to vitalize the credit unions in developing countries.
NACUFOK hosted training sessions for the leaders of Korean credit unions overseas at its Seoul office, the Dongjak Credit Union in Seoul and the Geumbit Credit Union in Jeju for the 6 days from June 23 to 28.
Four persons from the Toronto Korean Credit Union, 1 person from the Toronto Catholic Church Credit Union, 8 persons from the Vancouver Sharon Credit Union and 4 from the Korean Credit union in Japan (17 in total) participated. The topics included the effect of blockchain and electronic currencies on credit unions, countermeasures against cyber terrorism, electronic security, services for credit union members, and so on.
As the participants visited each credit union office, they listened to lectures on the roles of directors in credit union development and the social economy and were introduced to a variety of unique business areas for credit union members, such as operating a collection area for agricultural products as part of efforts to work closely with local economies. The visitors were attentive and responded positively to the lectures and introductions.
NACUFOK occasionally hosts such training sessions for leaders of Korean credit unions overseas to establish a foundation for mutual exchange and to develop all Korean credit unions by sharing the status of Korean credit unions in other countries.
Last October, 61 persons from the Vietnamese federation of credit unions and of individual Vietnamese credit unions visited the Seoul office of NACUFOK.
The employees of the Vietnamese federation of credit unions and individual Vietnamese credit unions were introduced to the growth process and roles of Korean credit unions and learned about the credit union movement in Korea and the roles of NACUFOK. The delegates were especially interested that all Korean credit unions were using an integrated Internet banking service.
The Vietnamese credit union employees expressed a great interest in all issues surrounding Korean credit unions and were eager to learn about their growth and management methods, despite their tight schedule.
NACUFOK hosted the 3rd Asian Credit Union Leadership (ACL) Program for employees of various Asian credit unions at Fraser Place Namdaemun-Seoul from December 2 to 12. The ACL Program is an intensive program that develops future leaders who will bring growth and prosperity to the credit unions in Asia.
Ten credit union employees from Bangladesh, Nepal, the Philippines, Myanmar and Mongolia participated to learn about various topics during their stay. These topics included the development process, promotional systems, supervisory functions and depositor protection policies of Korean credit unions. They also saw an example through a visit to the Dongseoul Credit Union and engaged in lively discussion about ways to develop the credit unions in each country.
The participants were particularly encouraged to establish personal development action plans as a way of completing the Program, to enable them to think about the roles of individuals in credit union development in their respective countries.