World Council of Credit Unions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
World Council of Credit Unions
Motto Building a global community
Formation January 1, 1971; 43 years ago (1971-01-01)
Purpose To be the world's leading advocate, platform, development agency and good governance model for credit unions.
Location
President & CEO Brian Branch
Website www.woccu.org

The World Council of Credit Unions (World Council or WOCCU) is the leading international trade association and development agency for credit unions and cooperative financial institutions. World Council promotes the self-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 is funded by member dues, government agency and foundation grants and annual gifts to its foundation. World Council of Credit Unions and its subsidiaries are headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. World Council also has a permanent office in Washington, D.C., and program offices worldwide.

In cooperation with its member organizations in nearly 60 countries, World Council champions the credit union model worldwide to continue growing the international movement of 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries that serve 208 million members. [1]

History[edit]

World Council was founded on January 1, 1971, as the global trade association for credit unions. World Council has worked with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) to build Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives in Afghanistan.[2] In 2006, World Council received a $6.7 million grant from the Gates Foundation to develop credit unions in Africa and Latin America.[3]

Credit union development[edit]

World Council supports the self-sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services.[4] With funding from a wide range of multi-lateral, government and private partners, World Council promotes economic security, resilience and livelihoods strengthening through the sustainable development of local, well managed, savings-led financial institutions. World Council reaches marginalized and traditionally unbanked populations and has worked with credit unions in 71 countries to provide a range of affordable, pro-poor financial products and services. World Council raises the awareness of credit unions, facilitates the exchange of information and ideas about financial cooperatives, and works with policymakers to improve the legal and regulatory environments for credit unions.

World Council's work focuses on:

  • Institutional development and self-sufficiency
  • Market based approaches to savings mobilization
  • Increasing access to financial services through democratic participation
  • Loan services emphasizing member needs and high repayment rates
  • Safety and efficiency through financial management systems and controls
  • Assistance in developing an effective legal/regulatory framework for credit unions
  • International exchange among credit unions through partnerships
  • Micro-enterprise through access to savings and credit services
  • Support of women through awareness of gender issues.[4]

World Council currently implements international credit union development programs in:

  • Colombia
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Liberia
  • Mexico
  • Rwanda

International Credit Union Day[edit]

International Credit Union Day has been celebrated by the World Council of Credit Unions on the third Thursday of October since 1948. The day is set aside to reflect upon the history of the credit union movement and to promote the achievements.[5]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Branch, Brian & Janette Klaehn. Striking the Balance in Microfinance: A Practical Guide to Mobilizing Savings. PACT Publications, Washington, 2002.
  • MacPherson, Ian. Hands Around the Globe: A History of the International Credit Union Movement and the Role and Development of World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. Horsdal & Schubart Publishers & WOCCU, Victoria, Canada 1999.
  • Westley, Glenn D. & Brian Branch (eds). Safe Money: Building Effective Credit Unions in Latin America. Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, 2000.

External links[edit]