The credit union philosophy
From the Illinois Credit Union League
In 1935, when credit unions were helping Americans through the Great Depression, the treasurer of a Midwestern credit union said that credit unions were “not for profit, not for charity, but for service,” and that philosophy holds true today.
Credit unions continue to look out for their members’ interests and provide a level of service that is not generally available at other financial institutions. Whether it’s providing a loan to help a member cover unexpected medical bills, giving financial counseling to a member whose company closed its doors, or simply offering a better deal on a used car loan, credit unions make a difference for their members and the communities they serve.
Aug. 24, 1984, the World Council of Credit Unions approved the nine International Credit Union Operating Principles that have remained the cornerstone of our movement. They are as follow:
• Open and voluntary membership
• Democratic control
• Service to members
• Distribution to members
• Building financial stability
• Ongoing education
• Cooperation among cooperatives
• Social responsibility
These principles are founded in the philosophy of cooperation and its central values of equality, equity and mutual self-help. They express, around the world, the principles of human development and the brotherhood of man through people working together to achieve a better life for themselves and their community.
From the Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2011, issue
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