MADISON, Wis. (7/9/12)--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.
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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.
This is the 40th consecutive year WOCCU has collected statistics on the international credit union movement. WOCCU reports data based on country responses to its annual survey and does not make estimates for non-reporting countries. The report, issued this year in electronic format, provides the most comprehensive data on the global credit union movement available and is cited widely by governments, international institutions and analysts as an expert resource, WOCCU said.
To access the report, use the link.