Jan 01 2001

Serving Members Around the Globe: United Nations Federal Credit Union Expands Operations to Foreign

In this paper, we explore the challenges and opportunities encountered by United Nations Federal Credit Union, a leader in exploring the potential of expanding its operations into international areas, in detail. The Representative Liaison Approach (RLO) approach may have potential for many U.S. based credit unions with significant member bases in international areas, and is also feasible from a regulatory point of view. For credit unions with more limited resources, a partnership with other organizations may be more appropriate, as summarized in part I of the paper.

United Nations Federal Credit Union is a leader in exploring the potential of expanding its operations into international areas. The $1 billion-plus, 46,000-member UNFCU is a model for others whose strategies include delivering services to employees of international sponsors in foreign locations. UNFCU Representative Liaison Offices (RLOs) in Geneva, Switzerland and Vienna, Austria, provide a variety of member services including account opening, transfers, loan applications and marketing. They do not deal in cash, accept deposits, or maintain local currency accounts. The RLO approach outlined in part II of this paper is acceptable to the NCUA because it does not offer the latter group of services