World Council of Credit Unions
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Membership Brochure
Membership Brochure

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions and cooperative financial institutions, with member organizations in nearly 60 countries. World Council and its members impact millions of people's lives, their credit unions, and national financial systems across the globe. Download the brochure or read below to learn more.

Building a Global Community

On behalf of its members, World Council:
  • Advocates internationally to achieve a better legislative and regulatory outcome for credit unions and their members.
  • Provides education and global networking for the exchange of information and ideas.
  • Champions the credit union and cooperative financial institution model worldwide.
  • Grows and strengthens the credit union system with technical assistance, training and tools for management, outreach and networking.


World Council protects credit union interests and gives credit unions a global voice.

With globalization, more financial sector standards are being set at an international level and adapted to local conditions. When international standards are being set on issues such as capital requirements, anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing and taxation, World Council gathers views from its member organizations, engages the global standard setters and influences guidelines before they reach the national level. World Council also provides national advocacy support for members with their regulatory bodies that are implementing new standards.

To ensure that credit unions are represented from the outset of discussions, World Council maintains an engaged stakeholder relationship with the following organizations to influence global standards:

  • Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Basel Committee on Banking Supervision: Advocates for clarification of regulatory capital and supervision standards that cooperative shares and supplemental capital can qualify as "common equity."
  • International Accounting Standards Board (IASB): Advocates for accounting provision and merger standards that reflect the mutual nature of cooperative financial institutions.
  • Financial Action Task Force (FATF): Promotes amplification and streamlining of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing compliance guidelines for community financial institutions which know their members.
  • Financial Stability Board (FSB): Advocates for a simplified proportional approach to systemic risk mitigation systems which reduce the cost for cooperative financial institutions.
  • European Union (EU): Advocates to protect credit unions from excessive regulatory burden which impairs credit union ability to serve their members and financial inclusion of the under-banked.
  • World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF): Provides credit union supportive financial, legislative and technical guidance in the development of policies and programs.
  • United Nations (UN): Has special observer status at the United Nations since 1978 and takes part in UN briefings and meetings.

World Council also advocates on behalf of credit union interests before the Group of Twenty (G20) and works with European Network of Credit Unions and our members in Europe to influence European commission policy regarding credit union legislation.

World Council issues regulatory alerts via The Telegraph as well as a compendium of country-specific activities through the biannual Global Regulatory Update, both issued via email to member CEOs and legislative contacts.

As international guidelines flow down to the national level, World Council works with our member organizations and national regulators to help interpret their application to specific credit union system environments. World Council carries out legislative and regulatory consultation and advocacy visits for member organizations.

World Council connects regulators to share best practices on an international or regional level through the International Credit Union Regulators' Network and annual conference.

World Council also:

Learn more about World Council's advocacy efforts at

Education & Networking

World Council connects people from within and outside the industry to identify solutions to common challenges.

World Council represents diverse credit union systems throughout the world. Member organizations include a range of institutions: credit unions, caja populares, savings and credit cooperatives, Islamic investment and finance cooperatives or mutual banks. Each system is unique, but many confront similar issues and have found value in learning from their international peers through World Council membership.

World Council provides online and in-person platforms for diverse groups of credit union leaders to interact and learn from one another. Member organizations receive discount registrations for World Council meetings and workshops, as well as exclusive networking opportunities through World Council.

Opportunities include:

  • World Credit Union Conference is the premier international credit union conference that brings together annually 2,000 credit union staff, boards of directors and regulators from over 50 countries to learn about cutting edge technologies, regulations and operations and to learn about solutions to common challenges so they can better serve their members. Members and their affiliates receive discount rates on registration.
  • International Partnerships Program formally brings together credit unions and their associations from around the world to exchange ideas and technical expertise to build stronger institutions for the benefit of their members.
  • World Council Young Credit Union People (WYCUP) Program is an annual scholarship program for members that engages and promotes the next generation of credit union professionals and volunteers. Every year at the World Credit Union Conference the WYCUP program awards five young leaders an all-expense-paid trip to the following year's event.
  • Global Women's Leadership Network is the international, professional group for women credit union leaders. It connects women around the world to engage in personal and professional growth, community development and peer networking and support.
  • International Training gives credit union groups or individuals the opportunity to tailor their international training experience. These topic-specific visits abroad introduce real-world solutions, expert advice and insight to address common challenges.
  • Regional and Online Workshops are hosted in collaboration with member organizations and partners. Workshops offer credit union leaders the opportunity to network and learn about similar issues facing neighboring credit union systems.

Learn more about World Council's educational and networking opportunities at

Resources for Strengthening & Growth

World Council delivers best practices and industry trends from around the world.

World Council provides operational resources and information on market trends and best practices that help credit unions grow and prosper. Member organizations receive free access to World Council's proprietary financial tools to improve credit union business operations, planning, products and services. Since 1970, World Council has implemented close to 300 technical assistance programs in 71 countries.

Credit Union Development Resources:

  • Technical Assistance: World Council technical programs emphasize sound prudential management, strong capitalization and service delivery through online and mobile channels. World Council key areas of expertise include institutional building and reform, financial services for the poor, small farmer finance, agricultural value chain financing and mobile banking.
  • Training: World Council training expertise includes savings mobilization, credit management, regulatory compliance, product development, membership growth and democratic governance.
  • Tools: World Council provides financial tools such as PEARLS, World Council's internationally accepted software for financial monitoring, capital management, business planning and risk management.
  • Operational Manuals: Documentation on starting a credit union, governance best practices, savings, risk management, product development, micro-lending, agricultural finance, mergers and growth strategies. Manuals include World Council's Islamic Finance Guide.
  • Technical Guides: Savings Mobilization, Rural Finance, Supervision, Mobile Finance.

Member Resources:

  • The Telegraph: Regulatory dispatch providing early warning of regulatory developments that affect the global credit union community.
  • Statistical Report: Annual publication that provides financial statistics from credit unions and financial cooperatives around the world.
  • Taxation Report: Tax status information on credit unions in various nations throughout the world.
  • Credit Union World: World Council's digital, interactive magazine highlighting the global movement.
  • Global Regulatory Update: Electronic newsletter of current regulatory issues in specific countries.
  • eCommunique: Six times yearly electronic newsletter of World Council's most recent activities, upcoming events and resources.
  • International Credit Union Day materials: Logos, poster files, celebration ideas and promotional materials in English and Spanish to increase public awareness.


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