Pennsylvania Credit Union Association

Credit Unions Build a Better World

10/19/2011

HARRISBURG — On October 20, 49,000 credit unions from 97 countries and their 184 million members join together to celebrate International Credit Union Day®. As cooperative and democratic financial institutions, credit unions’ success depends on the success of their members and their communities. Around the world, credit unions create opportunities for families, strengthen communities, and contribute to building a better world.

Credit unions strive to make the world a better place for their members by offering affordable rates and high quality service that simplify their lives and empower them to meet their financial goals. Visit www.iBelong.org to learn more about how credit unions build a better world.

Originally “Credit Union Day” (CU Day), the formal appreciation of credit union members and workers, as well as the pioneers of the credit union movement, has two beginnings. The first, in 1927, was established on January 17, because America’s “Apostle of Thrift,” Benjamin Franklin, was born on that day. At the time when CU Day was established, the credit union movement in North America was rapidly developing. People were either too busy to celebrate or too new to the credit union movement to recognize the significance of their actions, and after a brief trial period, CU Day faded away.

Twenty-one years later in 1948, the centennial of the first credit union arrived. By then, about five million people belonged to 12,000 credit unions in the United States and Canada. America’s credit union leaders at this time called for an occasion for bringing people together to reflect on credit unions’ cooperative history and achievement much more than they had in 1927. They also wished to promote the credit union idea nationally. To do so, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) decided to give CU Day new life – this time with a national celebration set aside on the third Thursday of October. This time, CU Day caught on and now it is celebrated globally.

Today, ICU Day celebrates the common roots of 186 million credit union members in 97 countries. The credit union movement has come a long way since the first financial cooperative was established in Germany just 163 years ago. As we observe past achievements and look forward to the accomplishment to come, we invite you to join us in celebrating ICU Day on October 20, 2011.

Credit unions are financial cooperatives that provide affordable financial services to help their owner/members. The Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Credit Union Association is a trade association that provides legislative, promotional, educational and operational support for credit unions in Pennsylvania. Credit unions headquartered in Pennsylvania have assets in excess of $35 billion and serve more than 3.6 million members. For additional information about credit unions or to find a credit union near you, visit www.ibelong.org.

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