MADISON, Wis. — Credit union organizations from a record 100 countries provided data for World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) recently released 2010 Statistical Report, which reveals the continued growth and resiliency of the global credit union movement. The report shows an estimated 188 million people worldwide are served by 52,945 financial cooperatives and includes data from new reporting countries Iran, Tanzania and Zambia. An additional 24 countries have financial cooperative systems but did not report figures.
Aggregate credit union savings for 2010 grew to US$1.23 trillion from a record-high US$1.1 trillion reported in the 2009 Statistical Report. Credit unions continued the global deleveraging trend in 2010 as they collectively reduced debts and grew capital reserves by 10% over 2009 levels, the highest rate in five years. Credit union members increased their savings in all regions but Europe and decreased borrowing in the Caribbean, Europe and North America. Credit union movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America continued to grow the fastest, keeping pace with their surging economies.
Credit unions received unprecedented recognition in 2010 for their role in expanding financial access in rural and underserved areas in a report released by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and The World Bank Group. The report, Financial Access 2010: The State of Financial Inclusion Through the Crisis, revealed that 45% of financial cooperative branches — more than any other type of financial institution — are located in rural areas where financial services tend to be least accessible. Next year, credit unions will join cooperatives from all sectors to celebrate the United Nations designation of 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting cooperatives’ contributions to poverty reduction, job creation and social integration.
This year is the 39th consecutive year WOCCU has collected annual statistics on the international credit union movement. WOCCU reports data based solely on country responses to the survey and does not make estimates for non-reporting countries. The report provides the most comprehensive data on the global credit union movement and is cited widely by governments, international institutions and analysts.
Download a free copy of the 2010 Statistical Report at www.woccu.org/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.