WASHINGTON (10/17/14)--Tributes to the ideal of not for profit financial institutions could be heard around the world Thursday as part of International Credit Union (ICU) Day.
Celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948, ICU Day is a chance for the credit union community to show that credit unions are consumers' best financial partner, in the words of Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle.
"This summer and fall we've been honored to mark the 100 million credit union memberships milestone here in the United
|Source: World Council of Credit Unions|
States," Nussle said in his first ICU Day greeting to state credit union leagues.
"The growth of credit union memberships in America, as well as around the globe, are indications of the burgeoning popularity of our cooperative, not-for-profit financial institutions."
Around the world there are 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries with a common mission to financially empower 208 million members, according to the World Council of Credit Unions. (See related stories: ICU Day celebrations highlight strength of a movement; Royal treatment only part of global praise for CUs.)
Gigi Hyland, executive director of the National Credit Union Foundation, said this year's theme of "Local Service. Global Good." has significance for credit unions around the world.
"Local service can mean so many things for credit unions," she said in Credit Union Magazine. "It includes affordable, appropriate financial products and services for members. It includes community leadership, collaboration, stewardship and charitable giving. It includes educating members and communities about financial issues."
Politicians across the country took the time to honor the credit union system as well. For instance, the governors of Iowa, Minnesota, West Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas all proclaimed Thursday as Credit Union Day in their states.
According to the National Credit Union Administration, there were just over 9,000 credit unions in the United States with 3.7 million members and total assets of about $700 million on the first ICU Day in 1948.
"The American credit union system is marked by growth, service and stability," said NCUA Chair Debbie Matz in a statement marking the day. "It's changing with the times and finding new ways to provide affordable financial services while still keeping true to the original ideal of non-profit member ownership."
CUNA's Nussle also said that along with the growth in the credit union system comes a commitment.
"We remain committed, as part of that growth, in achieving our vision for the movement--that Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner," he said. "Together, I am sure we can."
Use the resource link below to access Hyland's article in Credit Union Magazine.