BANGKOK, Thailand — On the heels of World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) 40th anniversary, the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) is celebrating the same milestone. ACCU was launched April 28, 1971, as the Asian Confederation of Credit Unions with the help of WOCCU officials and Asian credit union leaders. The organization celebrated its 40th anniversary year last week at its conference in Thailand.
ACCU came into being at WOCCU's Fourth Regional Training Conference, themed "The Future is Asian," held at the International Cooperative Education Institute in Seoul, South Korea, in April 1971. WOCCU General Manager A.A. "Paddy" Bailey was one of the officials who helped usher ACCU into being. The organization named Augustine Kang, then WOCCU's Asian representative, as its first general manager.
"ACCU owes its success to the many men and women who in past years devoted their lives to translating the ideal of brotherhood into an everyday reality," said Andrew So, who served as president of ACCU's founding board of directors and spent 10 years as a WOCCU board member. ACCU currently estimates that its member organizations serve more than 38 million people.
ACCU's conference this year attracted 380 representatives from 21 Asian nations, as well as Thailand's finance minister, Korn Chatikavanji. ACCU was founded by credit union systems representing Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, the Republic of China and Taiwan, and it currently serves 13 regular and associate members, 18 affiliate members and 44 supporter member credit unions representing 10 countries. ACCU is based in Bangkok and just opened its new ninth floor office in the same building that houses Klongchan Credit Union.
"Asia's role in the global economy has never been greater, as evidenced by the strong presence of Asian countries in the Group of 20 (G-20) nations," said Dave Grace, WOCCU senior vice president of association services who attended the meeting. "A strong global credit union system needs Asia's credit unions to play a significant role. From supervisory structures to IT systems, there is much to be learned from the Asian credit union movement, and we congratulate ACCU on this milestone."
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.