Today, credit unions around the world are celebrating International Credit Union Day (ICU Day). Since 1948, on the third Thursday of every October, credit unions have celebrated a simple but radical idea—by working together, people can improve their financial well-being. This idea has spread across the world enabling credit unions to flourish, especially during times of economic hardship.
During the Great Depression, scores of ordinary Americans—farmers, teachers, small business owners—found themselves without access to banking services. They band together to become their own not-for-profit financial institution and credit unions began to open in record numbers. During the recent Great Recession, credit union memberships proliferated once again. Today there are more than 200 million credit union members worldwide—100 million of them in the U.S.
This year’s ICU Day theme, “people helping people,” is the foundational philosophy of the credit union movement. At its most basic level, a credit union is people pooling their money to provide each other with affordable loans—a credit union is literally people helping people. This is why Insight celebrates ICU Day. This simple idea empowers people, wherever they are in the world or in life, to take control of their own financial future.
So when we wish you a Happy ICU Day, know that we’re thanking you for belonging to a movement that’s helping your neighbors—and people around the world—grow and thrive and follow their dreams.