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July 30, 2014   

Events & Education // Timeline

 
1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010

1970

CUNA International Restructures


CUNA International (USA) undergoes basic restructuring during its annual meeting, resulting in the formation of World Council. Shortly after the meeting, U.S. Credit Union National Association, Inc. (CUNA), the National Association of Canadian Credit Unions (NACCU) and the Australian Federation of Credit union Leagues, Ltd. (AFCUL) were accepted as members of World Council. New regional federations were also forming in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Far East.

1970

World Council of Credit Unions is Born


World Council of Credit Unions is incorporated in November 1970.

World Council President R.C. Robertson led the organization through its restructuring period and into a new era of credit union expansion throughout the world.

1971

Operations Begin


On Jan. 1, World Council of Credit Unions officially begins operations at the Filene House in Madison, Wis., USA, representing 40 million members of 56,000 credit unions in more than 70 countries.

1971

U.S. Leagues Fund Development


The Texas Credit Union League becomes the first U.S. league to support a WOCCU program in Mexico.

WOCCU's development program in Mexico was designed to make the credit union movement self-sustaining within five years, which included the establishment of regional offices.

1972

Wegner Named Managing Director


Herb Wegner becomes managing director (1972-75)

1972

"WOCCU" is First Coined


First use of "WOCCU" in publications.

1973

New Development Approach


WOCCU commits to "stimulating credit union development where the potential for technical or financial assistance looks favorable." Priorities are to extend credit union services through directed agricultural production credit programs and a global interlending system between credit unions.

1975

Bailey Named Managing Director


A.A. "Paddy" Bailey, a Jamaican, becomes managing director (1975-83)

1975

Worldwide Foundation for CUs Comes to Life


CUNA International Foundation becomes Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions.

The Worldwide Foundation sponsored an information booth at major credit union meetings to "spark interest in high-leverage giving through the foundation."

1978

CUs Gain Voice Among United Nations


WOCCU attains United Nations observer status, giving credit unions a voice among the U.N. General Assembly.

1979

WOCCU Relocates


WOCCU relocates to its current location at the Credit Union Center in Madison, Wis., USA.

WOCCU headquarters in Madison, Wis. (USA)

1980

Programs for Women Increase


WOCCU sponsors a two-part program on women entrepreneurs and credit during the World Conference of the U.N. Decade for Women in Copenhagen.

1981

D.C. and Madison Offices Merge


CUNA's Global Projects Office and staff in Washington, D.C., merge with WOCCU, fully integrating resources and centralizing management in Madison.

1981

Helman Named CEO


Howard Helman becomes CEO (1981-82)

1983

Charbonneau Named CEO


Al Charbonneau, a Canadian, becomes CEO (1983-93)

1984

WOCCU Forms Intl. CU Principles


WOCCU drafts 10 international credit union operating principles based partly on the Rochdale principles, which guided the first financial cooperatives in England.

1987

Model CU Building Approach


A USAID-funded Guatemala program spawns WOCCU's model credit union building approach, which emphasizes institutional building through savings mobilization rather than the infusion of credit and share-based lending.

1987

WOCCU Publishes First Book


WOCCU publishes its first book, The Central Finance Facility, a guide to developing and operating a "credit union for credit unions."

1988

WOCCU Develops CUs in Niger


WOCCU helps develop credit unions in the Islamic country of Niger, beginning with basic literacy and numeracy training for credit union staff.

1989

CU Expansion in Central Europe


WOCCU responds to a request from the Solidarity movement to develop credit unions in Poland and adopts a Central European Policy for development in the region.

1990

PEARLS Debuts


PEARLS monitoring system debuts, the first in a series of WOCCU financial tools for credit unions.

PEARLS training in the Philippines

1991

WOCCU Forum Held in Madison


WOCCU's triennial forum held in Madison, Wis., the first time in the United States. Attendees are hosted in local homes.

1993

Baker Named CEO


Chris Baker, an integral player in WOCCU's early development  as part of the Global Projects Office, becomes CEO (1993-2000)

1994

Model CU Building Applied in Africa


WOCCU brings its model credit union building approach to Africa.

1994

WOCCU Provides CU Legislation Framework


A "Content Guide" in English, Spanish and French provides the first international framework for credit union legislation. It is the precursor to Model Law for Credit Unions, first published in 2000.

1994

People-to-People Program Begins


The People-to-People program comes to life, connecting credit union professionals through international internships and volunteer assignments. It is the forerunner to WOCCU's International Partnerships Program.

1995

WOCCU Financial Tools Computerized


PEARLS and Business Plan tools integrate into a computerized software package.

1996

WOCCU Website Debuts


WOCCU establishes its first "worldwide web homepage."

WOCCU's Melanie Tavera (left) and Julie Panka (right) spent months learning about the Internet, preparing for WOCCU's emergence on the Web.

1996

Bringing CUs to Rural Poor


A program in the Philippines fuses the model credit union building approach with financial education to bring credit union outreach to the very poor. Forms of the methodology are later transferred to Ecuador and Peru.

1999

Intl. Remittance Program Starts


IRnet® debuts, making low-cost international money transfers possible through credit unions. It is WOCCU's first for-profit venture through the newly established WOCCU Services Group (WSG).

1999

Guatemala Adopts CU Rating Agency


WOCCU creates the first credit union rating agency in Guatemala.

2000

Arnold Named CEO


Arthur Arnold becomes CEO (2000-04)

2000

WOCCU Supporters Program Forms


WOCCU Supporters Program formalizes at the Credit Union Forum in Nashville, Tenn., USA. Credit Union Executive Society becomes the first WOCCU Supporter with a donation of US$10,000.

2001

Basel Committee Convenes Financial Co-ops at WOCCU's Urging


At WOCCU's initiative, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision convenes financial cooperatives for the first time to discuss the new capital adequacy framework proposed for Basel II.

2001

WYCUP Begins


WOCCU's Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) program begins, honoring young credit union leaders on an international stage.

Former WYCUP winners do some impromptu fundraising at the World Credit Union Conference in Calgary, AB, Canada, in 2007.

2003

New Delivery Approach in Mexico Reaches Remote Villages


Credit union field officers begin trekking into remote, marginalized communities to bring financial services to the poor through WOCCU's new Semilla Cooperativa [cooperative seed] methodology.

Credit union members make deposits outside a member's home in the remote village of Nuevo Jacal, Veracruz, Mexico.

2004

CU Advocacy Office Opens in Brussels


WOCCU helps establish an advocacy office in Brussels and organizes the European Network of Credit Unions in 2009.

2004

CU Development Begins in Afghanistan


WOCCU's Afghanistan program becomes its first venture into Shari'a-compliant Islamic finance.

2005

Crear Named President & CEO


Pete Crear, a long-time CUNA executive, becomes president & CEO (2005-11)

2005

World CU Conference Formalizes


The annual International Leadership Institute and triennial Credit Union Forum become the inaugural World Credit Union Conference in Rome, Italy.

2007

Intl. CU Regulators' Network Forms


More than 20 financial cooperative regulators form the International Credit Union Regulators' Network.

Gary Kohn (NCUA, USA), Gigi Hyland (NCUA, USA) and Brandon Khoo (APRA, Australia) participate in the annual International Regulators' Roundtable.

2008

Smart Phones Improve Financial Services in Rural Mexico


Credit unions first use personal digital assistants (PDAs) to improve financial service delivery in rural Mexico.

2008

CU-specific Legislation Passes in Africa


South Africa and Kenya become the first English-speaking African countries to pass credit union-specific laws.

2010

Small CUs Access Central Data Services Bureau in Kenya


WOCCU establishes the first credit union-owned data services bureau for small credit unions in Kenya.

Obed Makori (right), WOCCU's program staff member in Kenya, works with two bookkeepers who use the data services bureau and application service provider (ASP) software to provide accounting services to several small credit unions.

2011

Branch Named President & CEO


Executive Vice President & COO Brian Branch, a 21-year WOCCU veteran, becomes president & CEO

Worldwide Credit Union Statistics

 Credit Union Members 
 Credit Unions 
 

 


 


Best available data based on responses from member and non-member credit unions to WOCCU's annual survey of credit union associations and WOCCU program offices worldwide. See all international credit union statistics.