n Oct. 15, credit unions
around the world will celebrate International Credit Union Day. This year's
celebration marks the credit union movement's 150th anniversary.|
Credit unions remain healthy and strong because they live by the
cooperative principles on which they were founded: Credit unions
belong to the people who use them and operate solely for their
According to the World Council of Credit
Unions, apex organization of the international credit union system
in Madison, Wis., here's when and where the movement started and how
it has grown in its 150-year history:
- Mid 1800s: Credit union movement begins in Germany.
- Late 1800s: The movement spreads to other parts of Europe.
- Early 1930s: Credit unions appear in North America--first to
Canada and then to Northeast U.S.
- The 1950s and '60s: The movement returns to Ireland and then
moves to other regions in Latin America, Asia, the South Pacific, the
Caribbean, and Africa.
- 1989: While the Berlin Wall is falling, credit unions are
reintroduced in Poland, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.
- Mid 1990s: After apartheid, there's more growth in the movement in
- Today: The credit union idea is sweeping Central and Eastern
Europe, Macedonia, Albania, China, and Central Asia.
- Today: There are more than 36,000 credit unions in 86 countries
around the world.
- Today: More than 90 million members worldwide have economic
opportunities and financial security because they have access to
credit union products and services.