Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) is joining forces with the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL).
Last month ABCUL welcomed a delegation of Georgia credit unions to its annual conference. Mike Mercer, GCUA president/CEO, addressed the conference.
The visit by Mercer and his colleagues will be followed up with more meetings and visits to foster relationships between credit unions in Britain and Georgia, ABCUL said.
Forming international partnerships for mutual benefit is encouraged by the World Council of Credit Unions. In July, Mercer will join other credit union leaders from Georgia in Belfast for the World Credit Union Conference.
“I always look forward to the World Credit Union Conference,” he said. “I’m coming to Belfast hoping to have engagement with people from all over the credit union world who are trying to advance co-op principles in the area of consumer finance.”
At the ABCUL conference, Mercer discussed common challenges facing credit unions worldwide, including the regulatory burden. “We are constantly fighting against too much regulation--it seems that we are devoting more and more of our resources every year to comply with regulation so that we don’t get fined,” he said.
Technology is also changing the way consumers, especially younger consumers, interact with their financial institutions, he said.
Attracting the younger demographic is another challenge, he said. The average age of GCUA credit union members is 47.
“I think every credit union is thinking of how to attract younger members,” he said. “All credit unions are acutely aware of reaching out to and servicing younger people.”