Global Credit Union Movement Surpasses 274 Million

World Council 2018 Statistical Report shows substantial growth in membership

October 24, 2019

MADISON, Wis.—The international credit union movement added more than 14 million members in 2018 to reach a new high of more than 274 million in 118 countries, according to World Council of Credit Unions’ newly released 2018 Statistical Report.

African credit unions saw the largest increase in membership, with a 21% jump from 2017. Asian credit unions grew at a rate of 13%.

Credit union membership worldwide has grown by 90 million since the beginning of the decade—with nearly 40 million members being added since 2016.

“The global credit union movement is growing at a rapid pace as our philosophy of “people over profits” continues to resonate across six continents. We continue to see high growth among those credit unions which provide their core services via online and mobile channels. That growth has been driven by consumer demands for convenience and seamless integration into the digital economy,” said World Council President and CEO Brian Branch.

Credit union assets increased by more than 3% worldwide in 2018, while savings, loans and reserves also grew.

World Council reports data based on country responses to its annual survey and does not make estimates for non-reporting countries. The Statistical Report provides the most comprehensive data on the global credit union movement available and is cited widely by governments, international institutions and analysts as an expert resource.

You can view the full 2018 Statistical Report here.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform 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 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 86,451 credit unions in 118 countries serve 375 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

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Contact: Greg Neumann
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1 608-395-2048

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