MADISON, Wis.—Credit unions worldwide are expanding at a stable pace, with more members being served by more credit unions in 2007 than were served during the previous year, according to findings just released in World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) 2007 Statistical Report. Respondents to the annual survey from 96 countries reported that 49,134 credit unions served more than 177 million people worldwide in 2007. In 2006, 46,377 credit unions served slightly more than 172 million members in 97 countries.
Credit union assets around the globe grew by 8.2% over the previous year, totaling US$1.2 trillion in 2007, while credit unions managed more than US$900 billion in savings. Africa led asset growth last year with a 37.3% increase. Capitalization levels, a measure of financial soundness, remained strong at 9.8% of total non-risk-adjusted assets in 2007, demonstrating that the international credit union movement is on solid financial footing.
Global membership in credit unions grew by 3.1% in 2007 compared to the previous year, with Africa again leading the growth curve in relative terms with 15.1% growth.
WOCCU has collected annual statistics on the international credit union movement for the past 35 years to produce its annual Statistical Report. The only source for such comprehensive data on the global credit union movement, WOCCU's Statistical Report is widely cited by governments, international institutions and analysts. To download a free copy of the current report, visit www.woccu.org/publications/statreport.
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.