Credit union movement has world-wide reach, history

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you may have at least a general understanding of what a credit union is and how it helps its members save money. Each year, the entire credit union industry worldwide celebrates its impact and achievements on International Credit Union Day, which this year is on Oct. 15.

Impact on society

Today, there are about 57,000 credit unions worldwide providing an alternative banking solution to more than 217 million members in 105 countries. These not-for-profit financial cooperatives, which include Travis Credit Union, are proud to make a difference in the lives of members by championing the core philosophy of “People Helping People”.

Credit union history

The first credit unions were founded in 1844 as a marketing cooperative organized by workers in Rochdale, England. This later led to the idea of credit societies in Germany, where one of the first credit unions was established in the 1850’s. In the early 1900s, Alphonse Desjardins helped start a credit union in Levis, Quebec, before partnering with Americans Edward A Filene and Roy F. Bergengren to establish credit unions in the United States.

First Credit Union Day

After a few decades of growth, the Credit Union League of Massachusetts celebrated the first official holiday for credit union members and workers on Jan. 17, 1927. But the idea quietly faded as credit unions in the U.S. were too busy or too new to celebrate.

In 1948, the Credit Union National Association initiated a new national Credit Union Day celebration on the third Thursday of October. State credit union leagues across the U.S. picked up the idea and this time it took hold. When CUNA expanded internationally, so did the idea of a day to celebrate the industry. In 1971, the World Council of Credit Unions was established and it created the first International Credit Union Day 30 years ago.

To learn more about Travis Credit Union’s history, visit our website.

History of Travis CU