MADISON, Wis. — Credit union contributions to members and communities around the world, through good times and bad, will be the focus of this year's annual International Credit Union (ICU) Day® webcast, co-sponsored by U.S. Credit Union Development Educators and World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). A panel of credit union and cooperative industry dignitaries will gather this year at the Credit Union House on Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill to discuss their collective member service heritage.
"Credit unions in many different countries play a vital role in helping people who otherwise would lack access to basic financial services," said Pete Crear, WOCCU president and CEO and one of the panelists. "Celebrating ICU Day each year is a reaffirmation of the value credit unions provide to members at all socio-economic levels around the world."
In addition to Crear, this year's panel will include Bill Cheney, president and CEO of Credit Union National Association (CUNA); Paul Hazen, president and CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association; and Mark Meyer, CEO of the Filene Research Institute. As in past years, the program will be moderated by Paul Berry, the voice of CUNA's Home and Family Finance Radio.
While the recent economic crisis has affected institutions everywhere, the presence of credit unions has expanded locally as well as globally, with more institutions helping members in trouble. The philosophy of cooperative service combined with a strong consumer orientation has helped both the institutions and members persevere in the face of difficult odds, making this year's ICU Day celebration noteworthy, according to Cheney.
"This year's theme of ‘Local. Trusted. Serving You.' perfectly captures what makes credit unions so appealing to consumers across the nation and around the globe," Cheney said. "We will use the celebratory events planned for International Credit Union Day as an opportunity to deepen this understanding among our membership and within our communities."
The webcast once again will allow time at the end of the discussion for panelists to respond to questions submitted from online audience members worldwide.
The webcast will run from 3 - 4 p.m. EDT on Oct. 21. It is open to the public and may be accessed by registering at www.woccu.org. The recorded program will be 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 — "Local. Trusted. Serving You." — recognizes credit unions' identity as member-owned financial cooperatives and celebrates the trust members worldwide have in their credit unions.
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, 51,000 credit unions in 100 countries serve 196 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.