International Credit Union Day

Next Thursday, 18th October, is International Credit Union Day 2018, and we’ll be joining our global credit union family across the world to celebrate the 70th anniversary of ICU Day!

International Credit Union (ICU) Day celebrates the spirit of the global credit union movement.  It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness about the tremendous work that credit unions and other financial cooperatives are doing around the world and give members the opportunity to get more engaged.

When did ICU Day start?

International Credit Union Day has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948.

The U.S. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) decided to initiate a national Credit Union celebration in 1948.  The celebration was seen as an occasion that would bring people together to reflect upon credit union history and achievements and to promote the credit union idea across the country.

Credit unions across the USA were encouraged to celebrate the new holiday in some way.  It was to be a time for raising funds for movement causes and to pay homage to the men and women who had dedicated their lives to credit union development.

Sending a Message Around the World

During the 1950s, CUNA’s World Extension Department provided technical assistance and philosophical guidance for credit union development worldwide.  So many countries had established credit union movements by 1964 that CUNA formally expanded its mission and launched CUNA International.

New movements joined the credit union family each year, and an increasing number of people were interested in celebrating their uniqueness and unity with a special holiday that could be enjoyed by everyone – regardless of religion, political beliefs, cultural differences or language.  Many credit unions began to distribute publications, banners, slogans and kits, and Credit Union Day became an international celebration.

By 1971, substantial worldwide credit union progress led to the creation of World Council of Credit Unions to assist others in establishing and maintaining viable credit union movements in countries across the globe.  In Canada, Australia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, New Zealand, Great Britain and the South Pacific, national and regional credit union federations and confederations were established to support and endorse credit union development.

The World Council of Credit Unions created the first International Credit Union Day materials more than 30 years ago, and they continue to provide ICU Day resources to credit unions and associations throughout the world today.

So next Thursday we’ll be joining 235 million members in 109 countries on International Credit Union Day to recognize and celebrate the credit union difference!  Do join us if you can!