A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by its members, and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at reasonable rates, and providing other financial services to its members.(12 U.S.C. § 1752), (CUNA Model Credit Union Act § 0.20 (2007); CUNA Model Credit Union Act § 3.10 (2007)
Worldwide, credit union systems vary significantly in terms of total system assets and average institution asset size since credit unions exist in a wide range of sizes, ranging from volunteer operations with a handful of members to institutions with several billion dollars in assets and hundreds of thousands of members.
Yet credit unions are typically smaller than banks; for example, the average U.S. credit union has $93 million in assets, while the average U.S. bank has $1.53 billion, as of 2007.
The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) defines credit unions as "not-for-profit cooperative institutions."
In practice however, legal arrangements vary by jurisdiction. For example in Canada credit unions are regulated as for-profit institutions, and view their mandate as earning a reasonable profit to enhance services to members and ensure stable growth.(See for example the Ontario Credit Union Act, 1994 (as amended) c.11, s.24 (i))
This difference in viewpoints reflects credit unions' unusual organizational structure, which attempts to solve the principal-agent problem by ensuring that the owners and the users of the institution are the same people. In any case, credit unions generally cannot accept donations and must be able to prosper in a competitive market economy.
Differences from other financial institutions
Credit unions differ from banks and other financial institutions in that the members who have accounts in the credit union are the owners of the credit union (e.g., 12 U.S.C. § 1757(6)) and they elect their board of directors in a democratic one-person-one-vote system regardless of the amount of money invested in the credit union.(E.g., 12 U.S.C. § 1760,
A credit union's policies governing interest rates and other matters are set by a Board of Directors elected by and from the membership itself.(E.g., 12 U.S.C. §§ 1760-1761b)
Credit unions offer many of the same financial services as banks, often using a different terminology; common services include: share accounts (savings accounts), credit cards, share term certificates (certificates of deposit), and online banking.(See, e.g., 12 U.S.C. § 1757)
Normally, only a member of a credit union may deposit money with the credit union, or borrow money from it.(E.g., 12 U.S.C. § 1757)
As such, credit unions have historically marketed themselves as providing superior member service and being committed to helping members improve their financial health. In the microfinance context, "[c]redit unions provide a broader range of loan and savings products at a much cheaper cost [to their members] than do most microfinance institutions."
In the United States, as of 2005 credit unions have 86 million members, which is 43.47% of the economically active population.
U.S. credit unions are not-for-profit, cooperative, tax-exempt organizations. (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(14)(A) for state-chartered credit unions and 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(1) for federally-chartered credit unions)(CUNA Model Credit Union Act § 0.20 (2007); see also 12 U.S.C. §§ 1751 note, 1752(1), 1768)
U.S. credit unions can be chartered by either the federal government ("federal credit unions" see 12 U.S.C. §§ 1751-1772d) or by a state.(e.g., Massachusetts General Laws chapter 171, §§ 1-84 (2008))
The states of Delaware, South Dakota, and Wyoming do not regulate credit unions at the state level; in those states, a credit union must obtain a federal charter to operate.
All federal credit unions and 95% of state-chartered credit unions have "share insurance" (deposit insurance) of at least $250,000 per member through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) see also 12 U.S.C. §§ 1781-1790d
This deposit insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government and is administered by the National Credit Union Administration see also 12 U.S.C. §§ 1781-1790d, 
U.S. credit unions also typically have higher equity capital ratios than U.S. banks.
As of April 2008, the world's largest credit union was Navy Federal Credit Union, serving United States Department of Defense employees, contractors, and families of servicepeople, with over $35 billion USD in assets and over 3 million members.
US regulator tightens rules & takes over 3 credit unions
- Source: NCUA Adopts Reforms for Corporate Credit Union System, Places 3 Corporate Credit Unions in Conservatorship Alston & Bird, September 27, 2010
On Friday, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board held a meeting at which it took a number of actions, including appointing conservators for three corporate credit unions: Members United Corporate Federal Credit Union of Warrenville, Illinois; Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union of Plano, Texas; and Constitution Corporate Federal Credit Union of Wallingford, Connecticut. In 2009, U.S. Central Corporate Federal Credit Union and Western Corporate Federal Credit Union were also placed into conservatorship.
“The steps NCUA has taken today represent a comprehensive solution to the problems afflicting the corporate credit union system,” said NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz. “Just as important, this plan puts consumers first and ensures that there will be no loss to taxpayers.”
At the Board meeting, the NCUA adopted a new corporate credit union resolution plan focused on the following three key components:
- Isolate and fund legacy assets – Legacy assets will be segregated, securitized and managed in an asset management estate, which is intended to result in a lower overall cost of resolution than immediate outright sale of the legacy assets and allow the costs of resolution to be funded over ten years rather than immediately.
- Conservatorship of five critically undercapitalized corporate credit unions, as noted above.
- Bridge Corproate Credit Unions – Establish bridge corporate credit unions to conduct essential activities of the conserved corporate credit unions with no interruption in member services, particularly facilitating payment and settlement services.
The NCUA Board also adopted a number of reform measures for corporate credit unions, including:
- Capital Standards – bolster corporate capital, require minimum retained earnings levels, and establish new prompt corrective action requirements;
- Investments – prohibit investments in private label residential mortgage backed securities and subordinated securities, and establish various concentration limits to ensure diverse investment pools and risk mitigation;
- Asset/Liability Management – prevent cash flow mismatches and preserve liquidity;
- Corporate CUSOs – limit to activities approved by NCUA, and provide NCUA with greater access; and
- Governance – establish board qualifications and increase transparency.
The new reform measures generally become effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, but some provisions have delayed effective dates beyond 90 days.
In addition to the various “letters to members” (new corporate credit rule and new corporate credit union system resolution) describing the reforms, NCUA has released various explanatory presentations and announced a series of “town hall” meetings regarding the rule changes and the new legacy assets resolution regime.
GAO reports on credit unions
Based on data from the World Council of Credit Unions, at the end of 2006 there were 46,377 credit unions in 97 countries around the world. Collectively they served 172 million retail members and oversaw US $1.1 trillion in assets. (World Council of Credit Unions, 2006 Statistical Report.)
Note that the World Council does not include data from co-operative banks, so that, for example, some nations generally seen as the pioneers of credit unionism, such as Germany, France, Holland and Italy, are not included in their data. The European Association of Co-operative Banks reported 34 million members in those four countries at the end of 2005.(European Association of Cooperative Banks, Annual Statistical Report, 2005)
The nations with the most credit union activity are highly diverse. According to the World Council, nations with the greatest number of credit union members included the;
- United States (87 million)
- India (20 million)
- Canada (11 million)
- South Korea (4.7 million)
- Japan (3.6 million)
- Mexico (3.6 million)
- Australia (3.5 million)
- Kenya (3.3 million)
- Ireland (3.0 million)
- Thailand and Brazil (2.6 million each)
Countries with the highest percentage of members in the economically active population were (numbers higher than 100% are possible because the average person is a member of more than one credit union),
- Dominica (147%)
- Ireland (110%)
- Barbados (72%)
- Trinidad & Tobago (57%)
- Canada (48%),
- United States (43%)
- Benin (27%)
- Australia (26%)
Modern credit union history dates to 1852, when Franz Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch consolidated the learning from two pilot projects, one in Eilenburg and the other in Delitzsch in Germany into what are generally recognized as the first credit unions in the world. He went on to develop a highly successful urban credit union system.
In 1864 Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen founded the first rural credit union in Heddesdorf (now part of Neuwied) in Germany. Although Schulze-Delitzsch can claim chronological precedence, Raiffeisen is often viewed as more important today. Rural communities in Germany faced a far more severe shortage of financial institutions than the cities. They were viewed as unbankable because of very small, seasonal flows of cash and very limited human resources. The organizational methods Raiffeisen refined there, which levered what is today called social capital, have become a hallmark of the global credit union identity.
By the time of Raiffeisen's death in 1888, credit unions had spread to Italy, France, the Netherlands, England and Austria, among other nations. The Raiffeisen name is still used by Raiffeisenbank, the largest banking group in Austria (with subsidiaries throughout Central and Eastern Europe), Rabobank (Netherlands) and similarly-named agricultural credit unions in Germany.
The first credit union in North America, the Caisse Populaire de Lévis in Quebec, Canada, began operations on January 23, 1901 with a ten cent deposit. Founder Alphonse Desjardins, a reporter in the Canadian parliament, was moved to take up his mission in 1897 when he learned of a Montrealer who had been ordered by the court to pay nearly $5,000 in interest on a loan of $150 from a moneylender. Drawing extensively on European precedents, Desjardins developed a unique parish-based model for Quebec: the caisse populaire.
In the United States, St. Mary's Bank Credit Union of Manchester, New Hampshire holds the distinction as the first credit union. Assisted by a personal visit from Desjardins, St. Mary's was founded by French-speaking immigrants to Manchester from Quebec on November 24, 1908. America's Credit Union Museum now occupies the location of the home from which St. Mary's Bank Credit Union first operated.
Pierre Jay, then Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks and Edward Filene, a Bostonian merchant, were central in establishing enabling legislation in Massachusetts in 1909. The Woman's Educational and Industrial Union, credited with many social service initiatives, heard of this cooperative financial model and wrote to DesJardins. He provided them with the data they needed and on November 23, 1910, they created Industrial Credit Union, the first non-faith-based or community credit union, established for all people in the greater Boston community.
Filene also created the Credit Union National Extension Bureau, the forerunner of the Credit Union National Association, which was formed as a confederation of state leagues at a meeting in Estes Park, Colorado in 1934. Attendees at the meeting included Dora Maxwell who would go on to help establish hundreds of credit unions and programs for the poor and Louise McCarren Herring, whose work to form credit unions and ensure their safe operation earned the title of “Mother of Credit Unions” in the United States.
In the same year, Congress passed the Federal Credit Union Act, which permitted credit unions to be organized anywhere in the United States. The legislation allowed credit unions to incorporate under either state or federal law, a system of dual chartering that persists today.
Not-for-profit status and the need for a surplus
In the credit union context, "not-for-profit" should not be confused with "non-profit" charities or similar organizations.
Credit unions are "not-for-profit" because they operate to serve their members rather than to maximize profits.
But unlike non-profit organizations, credit unions do not rely on donations, and are financial institutions that must turn what is, in economic terms, a small profit (i.e. "surplus") to be able to continue to serve their members. 
According to WOCCU, a credit union's revenues (from loans and investments) need to exceed its operating expenses and dividends (interest paid on deposits) in order to maintain capital and solvency  
WOCCU's position is deeply rooted in global credit union history. F.W. Raiffeisen, the founder of the global movement, wrote in 1870 that credit unions "are, according to paragraph eleven of the German law of cooperatives, "merchants" as defined by the common code of commerce. They accordingly form a sort of commercial business enterprise of which the owners are the Credit Unions' members." (F.W. Raiffeisen. The Credit Unions. Trans. by Konrad Engelmann. The Raiffeisen Printing and Publishing Company, Neuwid on the Rhine, Germany, 1970)
Corporate credit unions
Most credit unions provide service only to individual consumers. By contrast, corporate credit unions (also known as central credit unions in Canada) provide service to credit unions, with operational support, funds clearing tasks, and product and service delivery.
The largest corporate credit union in the United States is U.S. Central Credit Union of Lenexa, Kansas, which serves as a central clearing house for corporate credit unions and holds approximately $45.3 billion in assets.
Mutual guarantee institutions
- Source: Mutual guarantee institutions and small business finance BIS Working Paper, Francesco Columba, Leonardo Gambacorta and Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, BIS Monetary and Economic Department, October 2009
A large body of literature has shown that small firms experience difficulties in accessing the credit market due to informational asymmetries. Banks can overcome these asymmetries through relationship lending, or at least mitigate their effects by asking for collateral.
Small firms, especially if they are young, have little collateral and short credit histories, and thus may find it difficult to raise funds from banks. In this paper, we show that even in this case, small firms may improve their borrowing capacity by joining mutual guarantee institutions (MGIs).
Our empirical analysis shows that small firms affiliated with MGIs pay less for credit compared with similar firms which are not MGI members. We obtain this result for interest rates charged on loan contracts which are not backed by mutual guarantees. We then argue that our findings are consistent with the view that MGIs are better than banks at screening and monitoring opaque borrowers. Thus, banks benefit from the willingness of MGIs to post collateral since it implies that firms are better screened and monitored.
Credit union leagues and associations
The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is both a trade association for credit unions worldwide and a development agency.
WOCCU's mission is to "assist its members and potential members to organize, expand, improve and integrate credit unions and related institutions as effective instruments for the economic and social development of all people."
Credit unions in the United States have traditionally used a state/national trade association relationship that aligns credit unions with state “Credit Union Leagues” followed by national affiliation with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) of Madison, Wisconsin. Federal credit unions may also be members of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU).
The Credit Union Executives Society (CUES), based in Madison, Wisconsin, provides professional development and resources to thousands of credit union executives and directors worldwide. It partners with world-renowned universities to offer graduate-level executive education specifically for credit union leaders.
The biggest UK credit union trade association is the Association of British Credit Unions Limited, more commonly known as Association of British Credit Unions, ABCUL. Some Scottish credit unions are represented by the much smaller Scottish League of Credit Unions (SLCU) which has headquarters in Glasgow; however the overall majority of credit unions choose the main British Association.
Credit Union Central of Canada is the trade association for Canada's credit unions outside Quebec. The Desjardins Group represents Quebec's credit unions. Structurally, it blends the functions of a trade association and a more European-style cooperative bank.
Credit Unions often form cooperatives among themselves to provide services to members. A Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) is generally a for-profit subsidiary of one or more credit unions formed for this purpose. For example, CO-OP Financial Services, the largest credit union owned interbank network in the US, provides an ATM network and shared branching services to credit unions. Other examples of cooperatives among credit unions include credit counseling services as well as insurance and investment services.
Credit unions in the United Kingdom have a long history. Identical or similar institutions to the present-day credit union were known as mutual societies within the United Kingdom.
Institutions known as mutual societies grew out of the friendly society movement of the 18th century, with the first mutual insurer, Equitable Life, being founded in 1762.
The emergence of mutual assurance was linked with the Industrial Revolution and the need to provide for impoverished workers beyond the outmoded Elizabethan Poor Laws, as people congregated in the cities and lived in conditions of squalor and poverty. The principle of mutuality goes back to this epoch, when the sophisticated financial institutions taken for granted today, did not exist.
The only method of improving the quality of ordinary people’s lives was through the development of co-operative and mutual societies, as formalised under the Friendly Societies Act 1819.
Mutual institutions thus predated the welfare state and were formed to meet the needs of a burgeoning working class, consisting mainly of rural and immigrant workers.
As a practical expression, this communitarian self-help movement allowed small regular individual contributions to be pooled for mutual collective benefit, obtaining the same economies of scope and economy of scale necessary in providing collective insurance and banking products, to mitigate enduring social exclusion.
Initially funding was required for housing, consumer durables and emergency insurance provision, at a time when commercial banks were still exclusively commercial lenders.
Building societies were formed as small temporary societies by worker co-operatives, pooling resources to build local houses and subsequently allocating them among members by drawing lots.
Once all members were housed, these organisations were typically wound up, although some became permanent societies in an effort to promote wider home ownership, as exemplified by the Leeds Permanent Building Society. Surplus funds were then pooled, providing an opportunity for low-income families to earn interest on small deposits, with proceeds typically invested in residential mortgages and liquid government securities.
The traditional intermediation function of mutual societies was to promote thrift among the working classes and thereby provide access to low cost home loans. This ethos has become obscured in the recent battle for customers, and only the very real threat of extinction has occasioned any renewed vigour in proclaiming the original mutuality message.
Mutual societies continue to perform vital social functions, often serving on the boards of local community groups, as well as regularly making sizeable local charitable donations. Indeed, the mutual legacy of social benefaction, although quite substantial, risks only being missed by the present generation once such institutions ultimately cease to exist.
With the conversion of most of the larger remaining mutual societies into proprietary companies, the bulk of the UK savings assets will have shifted away from their traditional providers into the mainstream UK financial sector. This change is occurring even as the traditional barriers between banks, building societies and insurance companies are disappearing. The spate of conversions is leading to a polarisation into two camps: the converters and the remaining mutuals.
Credit unions in the United Kingdom have been regulated by the Financial Services Authority since July 2002.ABCUL.
They are classified in two types: type 1 are the smaller credit unions while type 2 are larger.
From November 2006 many type 2 credit unions began offering their members debit card accounts so that they could withdraw cash from any Link ATM. UK credit unions do not offer cheques as these are generally being phased out in UK financial transactions.
In October 2008 the Financial Services Compensation Scheme guaranteed the first 50,000 pounds of each saver's deposits in credit unions, in line with the guarantee for UK banks and building societies.
Credit unions in the UK now offer a wide range of services to their members; from direct debits to payroll deductions, from being able to send standing orders from their accounts to paying members bills to providing cheaper insurance facilities.
Life insurance is usually included with membership (subject to pre-existing medical conditions and other exclusions). Death benefits vary between unions, but commonly include lump sum payments, writing off of outstanding loans and doubling of savings.
Credit unions offer savers considerably more protection than commercial "savings clubs", as was demonstrated by the 2006 collapse of the Christmas hamper club Farepak.
Currently there is a government financial initiative mainly being operated by credit unions to bring financial services to the economically disadvantaged members of society. One aim is to significantly reduce the influence of door step lenders (and illegal "loan sharks") where a £300 loan over 30 weeks may involve paying back around £450; a credit union loan would typically require paying back around £325.
- Source Mutual Banking Code of Practice Abacus.org
"The Mutual Banking Code of Practice is the code of practice for Australia’s credit unions and mutual building societies. The Code has been developed in close consultation with the community, government, consumer groups and our members, and applies from 1 July 2009.
Credit unions and mutual building societies are a vital competitive force in Australia, offering fair and responsible financial solutions. Our Code is an important public expression of the value we place on improving the financial wellbeing of our individual members and their communities.
Mutual banking delivers member-focused, competitive services. Credit unions and mutual building societies are customer-owned financial institutions committed to putting their members first. Credit unions and mutual building societies are also committed to responsible lending practices and to helping their members gain financial independence.
Over four million Australians are members of credit unions and mutual building societies. We meet the same regulatory standards as the banks and are prudent and strong financial service providers. The difference between credit unions and mutual building societies and the banks is our guarantee to serve our members first.
Abacus - Australian Mutuals and its members believe that this code of practice establishes a strong benchmark for industry and is a clear statement of the commitment credit unions and mutual building societies make to their members."
- Abacus Australian industry body for the Australian mutual financial services sector, a strong alliance of mutual building societies, credit unions and friendly societies.
- Australian Credit Unions & Mutual Building Societies Abacus.org
- Mutuals After Turbulent Times John Laker, Chairman of APRA, November 9, 2009
- Community CPS Australia Ltd Annual Report 2009
- 2009 Police & Nurses Annual Report
AU credit union statistics
Facts and figures at a glance
- 114 credit unions
- 9 mutual building societies
Assets and Growth
- Collectively, our sector has more than $70 billion in assets1.
- Credit unions’ on-balance sheet assets reached $46bn in June 2009, growing by 8.3 % annually while mutual building societies’ on-balance sheet assets amounted to $18.7bn in the same period.
- Hold approximately 7% of the new home loan market and 12% of household deposits.
- Collectively, credit unions and mutual building societies are the fourth largest holder of household deposits in Australia.
- We serve over 4.6 million members - close to 1 in 5 of the total population
- Population penetration (members as a proportion of the total population) is highest in SA (36%), Tasmania (36%), and NSW (28%)
- 85.3% of credit union and 87.7% of building society members reported high satisfaction in July 2009.2
- Credit unions and mutual building societies consistently out-perform banks (majors 71.2% and total banks 72.6% in July 2009).
- Mutual structure means no tension between servicing customers and external shareholders – customers (members) are the owners
- Better placed than most to satisfy key needs of consumers, that is:
- member focus
- sense of community / belonging
- honesty and integrity
- Competitively priced
- Close to half of all members are outside capital cities, approx. one quarter of which are in regional cities and three quarters in rural areas
- All credit unions and building societies (and banks) are Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs), regulated under the Banking Act. We meet the same high standards of prudential regulation as banks with full regulatory oversight by APRA, the prudential regulator.
- The Government has guaranteed all deposits of up to $1 million at all Australian credit unions and building societies (and banks). For deposits of more than $1 million, an optional government guarantee is available for a fee.
- Mutual ADIs offer a full range of personal banking services
- More members now using their CU as their main financial institution – 14.2% had six or more products with their CU in June 2001; by June 2009 this was up to 24.1% (i.e., a 70% increase in 8 years)
- [http://www.abacus.org.au/images/stories/fact-sheets/2010/CUBS_Factsheet_December_2010.pdf Australian Credit Unions &
Mutual Building Societies FACTS AND FIGURES AT A GLANCE] Abacus, December, 2010
Reserve Bank of Australia stability review
- Credit unions, building societies stable & prudent Abacus.org, September 24, 2009
The Reserve Bank’s latest Financial Stability Review out today confirms the high prudential standing of credit unions and building societies.
The RBA has noted the resilience of the Australian financial system, which is a well-capitalised banking sector performing strongly compared to other economies.
Australia’s mutual banking providers - credit unions and mutual building societies - are even more strongly capitalised than banks and have shown themselves to be prudent and responsible lenders.
Credit unions’ capital ratio is 16.4 per cent and building societies’ capital ratio is 15 per cent compared to the banks’ capital ratio of 11.3 per cent.
“Almost all the capital of credit unions and building societies is the highest quality Tier 1 capital because it is mainly comprised of retained earnings,” said Louise Petschler, CEO of Abacus – Australian Mutuals.
“Housing loan arrears for building societies are running at around half the rate of banks’ home loan arrears and for credit unions, home loan arrears are under a quarter of the banks’ rate.
“For credit unions’ arrears to be at 0.15 per cent is an outstanding performance, and compares favourably to increasing arrears for banks at 0.62 per cent.
“The arrears rates for credit unions and building societies are around the same levels as in 2005 despite the global financial crisis and economic downturn,” Petschler said.
The RBA’s report says major banks have increased the interest rate margin on domestic lending from 2.11 per cent to 2.24 per cent while increasing their share of new owner-occupier loan approvals to 81 per cent, from around 60 per cent in mid 2007.
The RBA notes mortgage originators, smaller banks and, ‘to a lesser extent’, credit unions and building societies have lost market share since 2007. However, Abacus notes mutual growth. “Credit unions and building societies have been winning back market share”, said Petschler.
“Credit union and building society share of the number of new owner-occupier lending commitments was up from 6.8 per cent in July 2008 to 7.9 per cent in July 2009, (according to ABS data).”
“In a market increasingly dominated by the big four banks, credit unions and mutual building societies are continuing to deliver real competition and choice.”
- Inquiry into access of Small Business to Finance Abacus, April 9, 2010
- Credit unions and mutual building societies, Growing from strength to strength Abacus.org
- Maleny and District Community Credit Union Annual Report 2009
KPMG studies on credit unions
- Source: Building societies and credit unions KPMG.com.au
2009 building societies and credit unions' Building societies and credit unions have produced a solid result again this year, appearing to have largely ‘sidestepped’ the most dramatic impacts of the global financial crisis. Both sectors achieved asset growth and the building societies recorded an impressive 10.1% growth in underlying profit.
Credit unions experienced a 17% decrease in underlying profits, due primarily to a significant decline in interest margins.
One of the most striking features of the results is in the indicators of strong credit quality, with bad debts expense increasing but only representing 0.03% and 0.10% of average receivables for building societies and credit unions respectively. This compares favourably to the major banks at 0.45%.
In summary, the sector has continued to operate conservatively in the markets they know well, to produce another set of good results.
- Press commentary
- Building societies key statistics and ratios - 2009
- Credit unions key statistics and ratios - 2009
2009 Regional banks, credit unions and building societies
Australia’s regional banks, credit unions and building societies have defied the dire predictions by some commentators of their downfall and largely continue to deliver solid financial results and strengthened balance sheets in the period to 31 March 2009.
Canada has the highest per-capita use of credit unions in North America, with more than a third of the population enrolled in one.
They are concentrated in Quebec, where they are known as caisses populaires (people's banks), and in the Western provinces.
As of December 31, 2007, the Caisses Populaires Desjardins federated 536 member caisses with CAD$ 144 billion in assets and 5.8 million retail members, making it the sixth largest financial institution in Canada.
Credit Union Central of Canada federates most credit unions in the English-speaking provinces. As of late 2008, the 10 affiliated systems operated 444 credit unions controlling CAD $111 billion in assets from 5.1 million retail members.
Other major Canadian credit unions include Vancity, Coast Capital Savings and Credit Union Atlantic.
- Resilience of the Cooperative Business Model,in Times of Crisis International Labour Organzation
- Ian MacPherson, Hands Around the Globe: A History of the International Credit Union Movement and the Role and Development of the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. Horsdal & Schubart Publishers Ltd, 1999.
- F.W. Raiffeisen, The Credit Unions. Trans. by Konrad Engelmann. The Raiffeisen Printing and Publishing Company, Neuwid on the Rhine, Germany, 1970.
- International Co-operative Alliance
- National Credit Union Association (US)
- World Council of Credit Unions
- World Council of Credit Unions Best Practices
- Association of Asian Confederations of Credit Unions
- Three Wholesale Credit Unions Nationalized As US Securitizes $50 Billion In Legacy Toxic Assets ZeroHedge, September 24, 2010
- United States: "National Credit Unions in 2010 (First Quarter)" Moss Adams, July 8, 2010
- Credit Unions Are Beckoning With Open Arms New York Times, June 18, 2010
- Credit Unions Begin to Promote Their Strengths New York Times, June 11, 2010
- A Credit Union That Played With Fire New York Times, May 14, 2010
- Congress, help credit unions help the U.S. on the road to economic recovery The Hill, December 7, 2009
- Military credit unions, advocates make case for carve-out in finance reform bill The Hill, November 9, 2009
- Bank lobby lashes out at credit unions The Hill, December 4, 2009