Today marks the 70th annual International Credit Union (ICU) Day, celebrating the spirit and endeavour of the global credit union movement. The event serves to recognise the history of credit unions, encourage the virtues of saving and responsible lending, and give union members around the world the opportunity to come together and share their insights and experiences.
What is a credit union?
Credit unions are community savings and loans providers, whose members can borrow from pooled deposits at lower rates of interest. Last year there were over 300 in Great Britain alone, with collective memberships of almost 1.3 million people.
By tradition, credit unions are small, not-for-profit cooperatives, set up and run by like-minded members for the benefit of their community. In recent years, however, credit unions have developed at least some form of commerce, be it commercial premises or online marketing and product sales. Credit unions can provide a lifeline for those who may not be able to access other means of lending and, in today’s society, they provide a much-needed alternative to doorstep lenders and payday loan companies. In short, it’s a concept which allows members of a financial community to ‘benefit, mutually, without profiting third-party shareholders’.
To become a member of a credit union, you generally need to share a ‘common bond’ with other union members, though membership can often be retained if that bond is relinquished for any reason – be it a house move or job switch, etc.
How can I get involved in #ICUDay?
ICU Day aims to raise awareness surrounding the service that credit unions provide around the world, giving people like you the opportunity to get involved. So, join the global credit union family in a day of celebration, and learn more about the international credit union movement. Use the hashtag, #ICUDay, to share your photos, videos, stories and marketing materials across social media.
To find out more, or to discover how you can get involved, visit the World Council of Credit Unions’ website. Oh, and just in case your boss owes you a favour, the 2019 World Credit Union Conference takes place next July … in The Bahamas.
For guidance or support with your finances, contact Danbro today and see what we can do for you. Get in touch now on 01253 600 150, and one of our expert advisors will be happy to help you.
Sam Wright is Danbro’s Marketing Manager. He produces regular content and feature articles on our digital and non-digital channels – and social platforms – for the Danbro Group and its subsidiaries, as well as having responsibility for the Company’s internal and external communications.
His background is in Journalism and Creative Writing, having previously contributed to publications such as The Daily Post, The Lancashire Evening Post, and The Blackpool Gazette.
He is a keen swimmer and avid Manchester United fan (but don’t hold that against him), and he lives in Lancashire with his wife, Sarah.