Bank-CU Wars Break Out InPoland

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WARSAW, Poland - (02/17/05) -- In a sign that Poland's credit unioncommunity is no longer "developing" and has arrived, the country'sbanks have begun attacking it seeking to limit growth and services.In response, the World Council of CU dispatched a team ofrepresentatives to meet with Polish authorities and explain whycredit unions are important to the country. Polish NationalAssociation of Savings and CU Executive Director Grzegorz Bierecki;WOCCU Chairman Bobby McVeigh; and interim WOCCU CEO Brian Branchmet with Leszek Balcerowicz, President of the National Bank, andAndrzej Jacaszek, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance. Theteam explained the importance of credit unions' ability to provideconsumers with choice and lower cost services. Bierecki describedthe community development programs that Polish credit unions haveinstituted to serve their social mission. Poland's credit unionswere not launched until 1992. Today the country's 109 CUs serveapproximately 1.2 million members.

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