Today (15 October 2020) marks the 72nd anniversary of International Credit Union Day.
Beginning in 1948, credit unions have come together annually on the third Thursday in October to commemorate the credit union movement’s history and achievements.
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide an effective and viable alternative to for-profit financial institutions for more than 274 million members in 118 countries worldwide. More than 85,000 credit unions exist globally, providing a plethora of financial services for their members, recognized as a force for positive economic and social change.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, credit unions around the globe have continued to provide a high level of service to their members and demonstrated a generosity to their local communities that has set them apart from other financial institutions.
The community commitment and positive economic and social change are just some of the ways that credit unions differ from traditional for-profit banks and financial institutions. For more than 150 years, credit unions worldwide have proudly collaborated to put people before profits in order to provide access to affordable financial services for all members. Credit unions invest their earnings in helping members meet their financial goals.
The provision of affordable credit is crucial to helping those who may otherwise struggle to obtain credit or pay this credit back, and therefore significantly contributes to a financially inclusive UK. The Commission believes that more must be done to support these vital institutions, especially as Covid-19 continues to impact those most financially vulnerable.