Credit unions and other cooperative financial institutions are owned by the consumers who use their services. All members are owners of the cooperative financial institution. The credit union is an autonomous private enterprise, within the framework of law and regulation, recognizing the credit union as a cooperative, serving and controlled by its members.
Credit unions and other financial cooperatives are democratic organizations which are controlled by their members who actively participate in electing their board representatives and participating in the governance of the institutions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership.
Credit union members enjoy equal rights to vote (one member, one vote) and participate in decisions affecting the credit union, without regard to the amount of savings or deposits or the volume of business. The one member one vote principle is designed to ensure that the cooperative institution responds to the demands of its wider membership. Voting in credit union support organizations or associations may be proportional or representational, in keeping with democratic principles.