|Representatives from Caja Huastecas in Mexico visit with Allegacy FCU staff in Winston-Salem. The visit, which was coordinated by WOCCU and the League, also included trips to American Partners FCU, Premier FCU and Truliant FCU. |
Five representatives from Caja Huastecas, a credit union located in central Mexico, visited North Carolina January 30 - February 3. The group visited four credit unions while in the Tar Heel State, including American Partners FCU, Allegacy FCU, Premier FCU and Truliant FCU. The visit was coordinated by the World Council of Credit Unions and the NC Credit Union League.
The visit allowed the Mexican delegation and the NC credit unions the opportunity to exchange information and ask questions about key operational areas. The meetings focused on lending, collections, campaigns to encourage savings, member service and information technology.
Staff at American Partners FCU hosted the international visitors at both the Reidsville and Greensboro locations of the credit union. "They were so eager to collect information to take back home," said an APFCU representative. "We thoroughly enjoyed our time with them. We want to head to Mexico now!"
“Credit unions are cooperative institutions, and this visit shows the level of commitment we have to work together ─ not only across the states, but also the world," said Truliant FCU President/CEO Marcus Schaefer. "This kind of collaboration is unusual in the business world, but it does highlight the core philosophy of member-owned credit unions worldwide, and members helping members,” Schaefer added.
The Mexican credit union staff fielded questions about effectively serving the Hispanic population. "A common thread that emerged from these conversations is that credit unions need to treat Latino members with dignity and respect, and follow through on commitments made to members," said Joshua Fetting of the World Council of Credit Unions, who accompanied the group on the NC trip. Fetting added that if the critical bond of trust was broken by the credit union, the Latino consumer will not only sever ties with the institution, "but tell all their friends what happened as well."
Caja Huastecas is located in a largely rural state in Mexico. The credit union has 28 branches located throughout the state, but many residents in more remote areas have a hard time traveling to a branch location. To bridge this service gap, credit union staff drive to remote areas and meet with small groups of members each month. Loan payments and other business is scheduled around these pre-determined dates in order to help members receive service.
"That's really remarkable service to members, and a fine example of people helping people," said NCCUL President/CEO John Radebaugh. "Credit unions in most places like to go the extra mile, but Caja Huastecas is a literal example of that principle being put into practice."
“This is just another great example of the cooperative nature of the credit union movement," said Lori Thompson, President/CEO of Premier FCU said of the visit. "We were happy to host and share information that may benefit their credit union and members.”