During the last decades, access to financial services has considerably improved for marginalized segments of the population in Latin America: millions of individuals are benefiting from the steadily growing range of financial services provided by the savings and credit cooperatives (SCC). More extensive networking, the application of modern management and control mechanisms, and the gradual incorporation of the SCC sector under the system of State supervision have stabilized the situation and created greater confidence amongst the local population. The DGRV has accompanied this development process in many countries of Latin America for more than two decades and assisted in shaping it at various levels.
Previously country-based projects of the DGRV are gradually being supplemented or replaced by supra-regional project activities. This facilitates the design of joint concepts, systematic strategies and standardized instruments to carry out audits, training and advanced training across countries. Consultancy and seminars are then adapted to the concrete situation in individual countries. Trained staff and experts from the region are primarily employed for this purpose. National cooperative structures can be reinforced accordingly by using existing know-how and achieving considerable synergies.
DGRV partners include the general staff and managers of SCC and of purchasing and marketing cooperatives, staff members of cooperative federations and representatives of ministries, central banks and supervisory authorities. In line with DGRV’s systemic approach, priority is given to support of federation and cooperative central bank structures, and the improvement of the legal framework. The aim is to integrate cooperatives into the development of the financial sector systematically and, in so doing, support the strategies of decentralization pursued by Latin American states.
The DGRV’s technical support consists of targeted individual consultancy as well as training and advanced training: instruments for educational and consulting activities are designed specifically for managerial staff of cooperatives and multipliers in development. Major content areas covered in DGRV consultancy include supervision, regulation, auditing, internal control systems, risk management, management information systems (MIS) as well as information and communication technologies. Programmes are implemented in the form of courses, workshops, seminars, and direct consultancy. Special attention is paid to the training of multipliers (lecturers and consultants) for the application and development of joint concepts and methodologies. In addition, national and supra-regional study and exchange programmes are organized in Latin America, Europe, and Germany.
Controlling risksFor the stability and growth of the SCCs, it is indispensable to manage risks efficiently. Early warning systems are the first link in this chain of identifying negative developments at an early stage in order to take appropriate counter-measures. Early warning systems are not only used by the SCCs themselves but by cooperative federations, deposit protection funds and supervisory authorities.
The DGRV has developed the ALERTA TEMPRANA early warning system for Latin America. ALERTA TEMPRANA consists of an IT platform for the assessment and interpretation of key ratio figures generated from accounting and other data of the SCCs. This early warning system can be adapted to specific requirements of, for example, national supervisory authorities. Translations into other languages are possible.