Annual Report 2015
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In previous years, we have addressed the pressures on credit unions: regulatory burden, payments innovation, membership growth, sustainability of small credit unions, and non-traditional market entrants. In 2015, we looked at the pressures on cooperative cohesion and association. Cohesion has always been based on shared values, promise, and quality.
With the increasing costs of and resulting consolidation of credit union systems, the measure of strength of association is less the number of credit unions and more the number of members and the quality of consolidated assets. Around the world, variations in emerging models drive variations in identification with the cooperative financial model. In some cases, we see polarization between institutions and the resulting conflicting demands on associations.
With voluntary choice of association heightened in the market, it is the value proposition of association today that deter mines the willingness of credit unions to be part of a system. Everywhere today legislation and regulation provide the common challenge that binds together association. A common value of association is both the pooled support for advocacy and the consistent message. The common voice is always stronger. Credit unions and mutuals still find value in networking with one another about common concerns such as cyber security, membership growth, or fin-techs. The challenges of sustainability of small institutions provides clear economic rationale for business collaboration, such as shared platforms or credit union service organizations.
The value of cohesion is driven not only by shared values, but also by shared threats of restrictive and burdensome regulation. Defense of the credit union or the mutual brand becomes the core service at the association level. Strong local institutions and strong national associations build public confidence, influence policy makers, and achieve growth. Proactive and aggressive advocacy at the local level, at the national, level and at the international level is a critical service of association built on a strong financial cooperative base.
In 2015, the World Council of Credit Unions worked to address these challenges for credit unions and their associations worldwide through our various programs. We invite you to learn more.
Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions
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As an industry dedicated to “people helping people” 2015 offered much to celebrate. With your contributions, the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions continued to support the expansion of financial services to thousands of individuals living in developing countries and provided tangible skills, knowledge, and resources to the leaders–and future leaders–of our global credit union industry.
From the rebuilding of credit unions in Nepal, to rallying behind women and youth worldwide, your investment has created a ripple effect that will continue to strengthen our global movement for generations to come.
We remain committed to developing long-lasting and innovative programs to advance credit union competitiveness and improve the economic security of members everywhere. In this annual report, you can read about the Foundation’s local impact and I hope you are inspired to join our global mission.