In a region with the world’s fastest-growing economies, Asia’s credit unions play a pivotal role in providing financial access to more than 800 million poor people, reducing the income gap between rich and poor.
The Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) represents 33,000 credit unions in 22 countries, serving 45 million members—including 11 million low-income, disadvantaged people mostly living in rural areas.
Although currently not a member of the World Council of Credit Unions, ACCU is showing interest, as it seeks to connect with and integrate into the global system to better access assistance with regulatory support and payment strategies.
The association is, however, already using the World Council’s Global Women’s Leadership Network to connect and advance Asian credit union women. Since March, the Network has helped establish four local chapters—called Sister Societies—in the Philippines, Nepal, and Thailand.
Additionally, World Council welcomed the Korean national association—NACUFOK—to its membership this year, and now has a representative, Dr. Chul-sang Moon, NACUFOK chairman and president and ACCU first vice president, sitting on its board.
NACUFOK has a highly successful integrated network in Asia, including a shared technology platform. Yet it still faces challenges with small credit union sustainability and young adult membership growth— similar to challenges in the U.S.