Tuesday, November 09, 2010 2:22:09 PM
MADISON, Wis. - The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) turns 40 years old today, November 9. The global credit union trade association and development agency was formally incorporated November 9, 1970, in Madison, Wisconsin. Its articles of incorporation state, however, that WOCCU's operations "are principally to be conducted wherever credit unions are located."
"Today is a milestone, not only for World Council but for the global credit union movement," said WOCCU Chairman Barry Jolette, president/CEO of San Mateo CU in Redwood City, California. "The organization has spent four decades seeking ways to improve people's lives through credit unions, and the number of people WOCCU has touched and the number of ways those lives have improved are immeasurable."
WOCCU evolved from CUNA World Extension Department, developed in the 1950s to attack usury on a global scale, one of the greatest abuses in developing countries. During that era, international credit union development programs emphasized community and economic development.
CUNA officials believed the department could work with private and government funding agencies to help credit unions foster the creation of modern economies in less developed countries. The work of this department, in conjunction with the efforts of cooperative systems in Australia, Canada and Europe, led to the organization of credit unions worldwide over the next two decades.
WOCCU has implemented more than 275 technical assistance programs in 70 countries around the world.
WOCCU began formal operations January 1, 1971, and will celebrate its 40th anniversary throughout 2011 with a variety of special events culminating at the 2011 World Credit Union Conference in Glasgow, U.K.
Additional information about WOCCU and its programs is available at: http://www.woccu.org.