MADISON, Wis.—In the face of the global economic crisis, credit unions have stood at the forefront when it comes to helping their members. The continuing contributions of the worldwide credit union movement will be the topic of the annual International Credit Union Day® (ICU Day) broadcast sponsored by the Credit Union Development Educators (CUDE) and World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), the international development agency and trade association for the global credit union movement. This year's broadcast will originate from United Nations Federal Credit Union, located in Long Island City, N.Y. across the East River from the United Nations building in lower Manhattan.
Pete Crear, WOCCU president and CEO, will headline an hour-long Oct. 15 discussion moderated by Paul Berry, a former Washington, D.C., television news anchor who hosts Home & Family Finance, a weekly radio program sponsored by CUNA & Affiliates, the U.S. credit union trade association. Crear will discuss credit unions' global impact in the face of the ongoing economic crisis.
While credit unions everywhere are affected by fallout from the economic crisis, the credit union presence continues to expand globally, according to Crear. Rather than contribute to ongoing economic problems, credit unions have diversified risk and provided consumers with safe alternatives when facing their own financial issues. WOCCU is increasing its efforts to reach consumers in both urban and rural environments and in countries with significant economic and social challenges, including Afghanistan, Kenya and Sri Lanka, he added.
"Worldwide, more than 54,000 credit unions in 97 countries serve more than 186 million members," said Crear, citing data from WOCCU's 2008 Statistical Report released in June. "Our mission is to support financial independence and economic democracy through credit unions for people around the globe, and we're making great strides in achieving that goal."
The webcast will allow time at the end of Crear's interview for questions. International webcast listeners will also be able to E-mail questions to be answered on the air.
The webcast begins at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Oct. 15 and runs until approximately 3 p.m. It is open to the public and may be accessed by registering at www.wescorp.org or www.woccu.org. The program will be recorded and available for viewing on WOCCU's Website after the broadcast.
About International Credit Union Day
ICU Day has been celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October since 1948. The event provides a time and opportunity to honor those who have made great contributions to the global financial cooperative movement, to recognize the hard work of staff and volunteer board members working on behalf of credit unions and cooperatives today, and to express appreciation to members of credit unions and cooperatives living at home and abroad. This year's theme-"Your Money. Your Choice. Your Credit Union"TM -recognizes credit unions' identity as member-owned financial cooperatives and celebrates the concept of member ownership.
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.