The World Council of Credit Unions (Woccu) welcomed Rafał Matusiak as its new chair after its 2020 AGM.
Mr Matusiak is president of the National Association of Co-operative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU) of Poland and has been on Woccu’s board since 2015. He was elected chair of the Governance and Elections Committee in 2017, before being elected vice chair and secretary in 2018.
Addressing the meeting – held online under pandemic restrictions – he pledged to help Woccu promote and defend the credit union model around the world through its advocacy efforts and development work.
“On behalf of myself and credit union members in Poland, thank you for this great honour,” said Mr Matusiak.
He succeeds Steve Stapp, president and CEO of Unitus Community Credit Union in Portland, Oregon and will chair the organisation for the next 12 months, until next year’s AGM.
The meeting also saw board members Dallas Bergl (CUNA), Martha Durdin (Canadian Credit Union Association) and Michael Lawrence (Customer Owned Banking Association – Australia) reappointed for two-year terms, while Aaron Moses (Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions), Manfred Alfonso Dasenbrock (Sicredi – Brazil), Charles Murphy (Irish League of Credit Unions) and George Ototo (Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives Ltd) were re-elected to two-year terms on the 14-member body. Joe Thomas (Credit Union National Association – CUNA/USA), CEO of NextMark Credit Union joined the Woccu board as a new director.
The Distinguished Service Award and Member Growth Awards were also presented at the AGM. The membership growth accolade went to the National Credit Union Federation of Korea (NACUFOK), KUSCCO from Kenya and Co-operative Credit Union Association (CUA) in Ghana. The Indiana Credit Union League (ICUL) was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for its “exemplary commitment supporting credit unions serving vulnerable populations, disaster victims, immigrants and entrepreneurs outside of its own country.”
Addressing the AGM, Woccu president and CEO Brian Branch praised the sector for its response to the Covid-19 crisis. He said: “Credit unions instinctively went to assisting members right away with loan restructuring, advances and financial counselling.
“The credit union response is more significant for affected populations than the response from commercial banks. Several credit union systems have also accelerated the expansion of mobile channels for members during this crisis. Digitisation is now seen by consumers a matter of safety, not just convenience or competitiveness.”