MADISON, Wis. — The message is simple, direct and embraces the key concept behind credit unions: Members Matter Most. Those three words, which comprise this year's International Credit Union (ICU) Day® theme, speak to the heart of the credit union philosophy.
"In the face of all challenges, credit unions have always existed to serve their members," said Brian Branch, World Council of Credit Unions president and CEO. "The clear and simple message, ‘Members Matter Most,' summarizes credit unions' reason for being."
ICU Day, celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October, takes place this year on Oct. 18, 2012. This year is also the United Nations' International Year of Cooperatives, a year-long celebration that began Oct. 31, 2011, and has provided greater visibility to credit unions and other cooperatives worldwide.
This year's theme was submitted by Sinéad Butler from the marketing services department of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU). "Members Matter Most" was one of more than a dozen themes submitted by representatives from Abacus Australian Mutuals, Credit Union Central of Canada, Credit Union National Association (USA) and World Council.
Committee members also voted on the design of this year's ICU Day poster, which incorporates photos of credit union members from Mexico, Poland, Tanzania and other countries from around the world. The seven cooperative principles in English, Spanish and French form the poster's background.
"Members are the heart of the credit union system. This year's theme speaks perfectly to the sentiment all staff carry through on every day," said Bill Cheney, CUNA president and CEO. "Further, it differentiates credit unions from other financial institutions as member-owned financial cooperatives. At credit unions, members matter most."
Official ICU Day graphics are available to download on World Council's website at www.woccu.org/icuday. Promotional materials and other ideas to help celebrate International Credit Union Day will soon be available.
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 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.