AUCKLAND, 22 SEPTEMBER 2016: The achievements and progress of credit unions and the credit union movement in New Zealand is an example for countries around the world, according to the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), the global body that builds, champions and helps grow credit unions around the world.
“The global credit union movement has had to change significantly in the last few years in order to adapt to changing market conditions and population demographics. Credit unions in New Zealand, along with Co-op Money NZ, the industry body, show themselves to be at the forefront of initiatives to not only manage the changes, but get ahead of them, and be able to meet the demands and needs of a changing member base,” said Victor Corro, VP of Member Services, Training and Partnerships at WOCCU.
Corro was invited to speak at the Co-op Money NZ Annual Conference, which took place on Saturday, 17 September 2016 in Auckland. He used his session to cover some of the global challenges to the sector and highlighted the need for more young people to become members of credit unions.
“Across the world we have seen four major challenges faced by credit unions. These include a growing regulatory burden, developments in payments that are likely to change business models across financial providers, market disruptors and new types of companies, and finally, encouraging youth membership growth,” said Corro.
“It is heartening to see that, along with Co-op Money NZ, credit unions here are tackling these challenges head-on and making a path for themselves. This means actively investing in technology, modifying strategies and action plans to stay ahead of the game and tackle a changing world head-on,” he added.
Corro pointed to investment in Oracle’s Flexcube to provide a new modern, tier one core banking system for participating credit unions in New Zealand as one of the key examples of the progressive strategy employed by the movement in the country.
The Co-op Money NZ Annual Conference 2016 was structured around the theme of ‘The Future Is Now’ and brought together nearly 100 General Managers, CEOs, senior managers, board members and staff from credit unions and mutual building societies from around New Zealand. Besides Corro’s session, the conference featured high-energy business workshops and industry-leading speakers including CEO of Retirement Income Group, Ralph Stewart and renowned futurist, Steve Tighe from Australia.
“This year’s Annual Conference and Gala Awards Dinner were, once again, informative and exciting events that brought together our Members from all around New Zealand. Successful conferences like this continue to reinforce the ideologies and philosophies that we stand for in the credit union movement,” said Henry Lynch CEO of Co-op Money NZ.
The Annual Conference was followed by Co-op Money NZ’s Gala Awards Dinner, which recognised the dedication of individuals and organisations in the movement over the last 12 months.
A total of six Awards were presented to deserving individuals and organisations, including Craig McInnes and Phoebe Falconer, both former directors of NZCU Steelsands and Murray Brown, GM of Fisher and Paykel Credit Union. Recipients of the awards were recognised for their valuable contribution to their credit union, the industry and local community.
NZCU Auckland, received the coveted People Helping People Award. The People Helping People award is presented to the credit union that has made a significant and positive impact in their community and is about making a definable and tangible difference to the community.
The Awards evening also served as occasion to celebrate the 40 year anniversaries of Alliance Group Credit Union and NZ Firefighters Credit Union.
“Our Awards ceremony is an event that is an important part of our annual calendars. This is the time when we honour and recognise work across the movement that has moved forward either organisations or communities as a whole. It is our privilege to present these Awards, this year as has been the case in years past,” said Lynch.
The Co-op Money NZ Annual Conference 2016 was sponsored by Oracle, MasterCard, Bell Gully, Covenant, Crombie Lockwood, Novus, Retirement Income Group, The Skills Organisation, Modica Group, New Zealand Roadside Assistance and Vero.