Illinois and Ecuador Credit Unions Sign International Partnership Agreement

AMBATO, ECUADOR (June 7, 2013) Last week, two representatives from BCU of Vernon Hills, Ill. (USA), traveled to Ambato, Ecuador, to establish an official credit union-to-credit union partnership with Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito OSCUS Ltda. through World Council of Credit Unions’ International Partnerships Program. The new partnership between BCU and OSCUS will allow both parties to directly exchange information, ideas and best practices in credit union operations.

“We are thrilled to embark on this journey with OSCUS and look forward to all we have to learn from each other,” said Mike Valentine, BCU president and CEO. “Forming a partnership with an organization full of dedicated individuals with shared goals and values only strengthens our pride in the World Council International Partnerships’ mission and the industry as a whole.”

During the visit, Bob Pondelicek, BCU director of mortgage sales, and José Cajigas, BCU regional director, visited three of OSCUS’s rural branch offices to observe how the credit union helps underserved communities. The U.S. representatives also attended OSCUS’s 50th anniversary celebration along with 800 credit union members and international delegates. During the celebration, the local government presented OSCUS with special awards for its community service activities, and BCU presented a special commemoration congratulating OSCUS on its 50 years of success.

“This partnership breaks boundaries and marks a milestone in the Ecuadorian cooperative movement,” said Federico Cuesta, OSCUS CEO. “Cooperative thought and willpower have built a new path of management and international integration.”

The new partnership brings the total number of International Partnerships Program alliances to 20 across North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, South Pacific and Europe.

“Connecting OSCUS and BCU allows them to leverage their shared commitment to provide the best member experience regardless of whether it’s in the suburban communities of Chicago or in rural Ecuador,” said Victor Miguel Corro, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions vice president, who oversees World Council’s International Partnerships Program. “We will work hard to support this partnership and to continue connecting credit unions around the globe.”

For more information on World Council’s International Partnerships Program, visit

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions’ financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 51,000 credit unions in 100 countries serve 196 million people. Learn more about World Council’s impact around the world at

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