MADISON, Wis. – The worldwide credit union movement added eight million new members in 2011, reaching 196 million members from 100 reporting countries, according to World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) just-released 2011 Statistical Report.
The annual study revealed that the number of members grew 4.3% from 188 million members reported in 2010, while the number of credit unions fell 3.5% to 51,103 in 2011 from 52,945 in 2010. The decline is an indication of the continuing trend of smaller institutions merging into larger credit unions worldwide, according to Brian Branch, WOCCU president/CEO.
"In countries around the world, smaller credit unions are merging to realize greater economies of scale and develop capabilities to deliver more services to members," Branch said. "The dramatic upturn in the number of members shows that credit unions are becoming more influential, and consumers are finding them to be better alternatives than many for-profit financial institutions."
Worldwide, credit union loans increased to $1 trillion in 2011 from $960 billion in 2010; reserves jumped to $141.3 billion from $131.7 billion; and global credit union assets grew to $1.6 trillion from $1.5 trillion. Savings volume declined slightly to $1.22 trillion from $1.23 trillion.
Global member penetration rose to 7.8% in 2011 from 7.5% in 2010.
WOCCU’s complete statistical report is available at: www.woccu.org/publications/statreport.