British Credit Unions Encouraged to Go For Gold

March 17, 2004

Great Britain Development Educators (DEs)pose with WOCCU delegation (also DEs)

Great Britain—During 25th Anniversary of the 1979 Credit Union Act celebrations at the Association of British Credit Unions, Ltd. (ABCUL) Annual Meeting, World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. chairman, L.R. (Bobby) McVeigh complimented ABCUL and member credit unions on their accomplishments in the last 25 years and encouraged them to go for gold in the next 25 years.

Credit unions in Great Britain have grown, especially the last 10 years.


  1993 2003
ABCUL affiliated credit unions 270 444
Total Members 85,000 365,000
Average Members per credit union 315 822
Average Shares/Savings per Member 377 803
Average Loan per Member 118 540

McVeigh continued, "Since July, 2002 credit unions in Great Britain have become an integral part of the financial system, by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) taking over the supervision of credit unions and setting the minimum prudential standards, for which WOCCU's PEARLS monitoring system has been used as guidance. The PEARLS project will ultimately generate the goals of creating a sound and safe alternative network of socially driven financial institutions and providing access to affordable financial services."

McVeigh also drew the attention to the record 700 participants of the Blackpool conference and the creation of the ABCUL Foundation, which will hold the first Development Educators (DE) program for credit union leaders in September. The program is based on the model developed by National Credit Union Foundation (U.S.) and World Council.

During the conference ABCUL chief executive officer, Shaun Spiers announced he would retire in order to pursue other activities in the Great Britian. He was thanked by ABCUL's board for the success with which he has advanced ABCUL and credit unions during his tenure. Board leadership changes also occurred, with the chairman of the ABCUL board, Richard Collier completing his term. He will be remembered for his dedication to the credit union legislative issues in the Great Britian as well as in the European Union. Mary Henderson, development educator was elected as the new Chairwomen by her fellow board members at the Annual General Meeting.

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 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

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