MADISON, Wis. (11/16/11)--Brian Branch, president/CEO of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), wrote an article explaining why credit unions are thriving worldwide, which was posted on the CNBC executive blog.
"As consumers seek trustworthy financial institutions, credit unions worldwide have seen an uptick in growth and membership--especially during the recent years of economic crisis and recession," Branch wrote. "Over the last few years, credit unions flourished as consumers took their savings and business needs to the safety of these depository institutions. From 2007 to 2010, membership around the globe increased to 188 million, up 11 million from just a few years before."
Innovation has allowed credit unions to expand into new areas of business in remote rural areas, Branch added. Widespread access to wireless communications and declining technology costs have allowed credit unions to deliver services without investing in the traditional brick-and-mortar infrastructure.
Shared branching has linked together many credit unions in Latin America, he wrote. And the use of mobile devices has empowered credit union members in Kenya, Mexico, Ecuador and Haiti, where credit unions have partnered with telephone companies so members can move money from their accounts using their cell phones.
To read the article, use the link.
Branch also recorded a video greeting used at the Singapore National Cooperative Federation's formal launch of its International Year of the Cooperative (IYC) activities last week. The United Nations has designated 2012 as International Year of the Cooperative. Use the link to see WOCCU's Special IYC blog.