Madison, WI—Credit unions from around the world will join in solidarity October 19, 2006, to honor the credit union movement's history and achievements.
Since 1948, International Credit Union Day has been celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October. This year's theme, Credit Unions: Making a World of Difference, reflects the worldwide scope and influence of credit unions. Selected by credit union enthusiasts from around the world, the theme emphasizes the common thread and desire for financial freedom that weaves people together into the international credit union movement. World Council of Credit Unions, Inc., the international trade association and development organization for credit unions based in Madison, Wis., has sponsored International Credit Union Day for over 30 years.
"Credit unions are cooperatives that bring an equal voice and financial freedom to more than 157 million credit union members in 92 countries," World Council CEO Pete Crear said. "From Asia to Afghanistan to Louisiana, credit unions have been there to rebuild, offer hope and provide community support when all other means have failed."
President George W. Bush recently recognized credit unions for their work in the U.S. in honor of ICU Day.
"By providing valuable services and support, credit unions help meet the financial needs of millions of individuals in the United States and around the world," he wrote. "These institutions help men and women increase their financial security and achieve their dreams."
Credit unions from around the world will celebrate the day with activities such as parades, festivals, contests and open houses. Visit World Council's press room online, http://www.woccu.org/press/press_ rel/index.php, to learn more about World Council and the microfinance development work it does through credit unions worldwide.
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.