Our Purpose


The World Council engages in advocacy, development and education to champion and grow credit unions and cooperative finance worldwide.


Mission and Vision

OUR MISSION To improve lives through credit unions and other financial cooperatives.

OUR VISION To expand financial inclusion worldwide through the global credit union community.

OUR BELIEF All people should have access to affordable, reliable and sustainable financial services.

Value Proposition

On behalf of its members, World Council:

  • Advocates internationally to achieve better legislative and regulatory outcomes for credit unions, other cooperative financial institutions and their members.
  • Provides education and global networking for the exchange of information and ideas.
  • Champions the credit union and cooperative financial institution model worldwide.
  • Grows and strengthens the global financial cooperative system with technical assistance, training, and tools for management, outreach and networking.

Why Credit Unions?

Credit unions worldwide have members, not customers. They offer those members from all walks of life needed financial services and much more.



A credit union is a customer/member owned financial cooperative, democratically controlled by its members, and operated for the purpose of maximizing the economic benefit of its members by providing financial services at competitive and fair rates.


Access to affordable, reliable and self-sustainable financial services improves lives on many different levels. Credit unions work to expand services to people of all income levels.


87,914 credit unions in 118 countries improve the lives and communities of 393 million members.


The Credit Union Difference

How do we differ from banks and other financial institutions?



Members share a common community, occupation or place of work.  Service to the working poor is blended with service to a broader spectrum of the population, which allows a credit union to offer competitive rates and fees.


Credit union members elect a board of directors from their membership. Members each have one vote in board elections, regardless of their amount of savings or shares in the credit union.


Net income is applied first to adequacy requirements.  Member owned capital structure, compared to stockholder capital, allows the credit union to manage surplus to lower interest rates on loans, higher interest on savings or new product and service development.