Global credit union membership surpasses 291 million

October 12, 2020

The international credit union movement added over 17 million members in 2019 to reach a new membership high of more than 291 million in 118 countries, according to World Council of Credit Unions’ 2019 Statistical Report.

That surge contributed to a worldwide credit union membership growth of more than 107 million over the past decade (2010-19)—an increase of 59%. The rise was fueled primarily by large increases in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Membership growth by region for the ten-year period was as follows:

  • Latin America 153%
  • Africa 143%
  • Asia 81%
  • Oceania 48%
  • North America 30%
  • Caribbean 17%
  • Europe 8%

“Our movement continues to grow because we respond to the needs of members by expanding services, providing more access through digital channels and putting their economic empowerment ahead of corporate profits,” said World Council President/CEO Brian Branch. “That growth will continue as consumer demands for safety join those of convenience and seamless integration into the digital economy. Those demands have only grown throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and credit unions across the globe are responding.”

Looking specifically at 2019, credit unions in Oceania saw the largest per capita increase in membership, with a 24% jump from 2018. Asian credit unions grew at a rate of 13%.

Credit union assets increased by more than 26% worldwide in 2019, while savings, loans and reserves also grew.

World Council reports data based on country responses to its annual survey and does not make estimates for non-reporting countries. The Statistical Report provides the most comprehensive data on the global credit union movement available, and is cited widely by governments, international institutions and analysts as an expert resource.