Credit union

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A credit union is a cooperative financial institution that is owned and controlled by its members, and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at reasonable rates, and providing other financial services to its members.[1] [2]Many credit unions exist to further community development[3] or sustainable international development on a local level.[4] Worldwide, credit union systems vary significantly in terms of total system assets and average institution asset size[5] since credit unions exist in a wide range of sizes, ranging from volunteer operations with a handful of members to institutions with several billion dollars in assets and hundreds of thousands of members. Yet credit unions are typically smaller than banks; for example, the average U.S. credit union has $93 million in assets, while the average U.S. bank has $1.53 billion, as of 2007.[6]

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) defines credit unions as "not-for-profit cooperative institutions."[7] In practice however, legal arrangements vary by jurisdiction. For example in Canada credit unions are regulated as for-profit institutions, and view their mandate as earning a reasonable profit to enhance services to members and ensure stable growth.[8] This difference in viewpoints reflects credit unions' unusual organizational structure, which attempts to solve the principal-agent problem by ensuring that the owners and the users of the institution are the same people. In any case, credit unions generally cannot accept donations and must be able to prosper in a competitive market economy.


[edit] Other names

In some places, credit unions are called by other names; for example, in many African countries they are called "savings and credit cooperative organizations" (SACCOs), "to emphasize savings before credit."[9] in Spanish-speaking countries, they are often called cooperativas de ahorro y crédito,[10] but in Mexico they are typically called a caja popular.[11] French terms for "credit union" include caisse populaire[12] and banque populaire.[13] Afghan credit unions are called "Islamic investment and finance cooperatives" (IIFCs) to comply with Islamic lending practices."[14]

[edit] Differences from other financial institutions

Credit unions differ from banks and other financial institutions in that the members who have accounts in the credit union are the owners of the credit union[15] and they elect their board of directors in a democratic one-person-one-vote system regardless of the amount of money invested in the credit union.[16] A credit union's policies governing interest rates and other matters are set by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by and from the membership itself.[17] Credit unions offer many of the same financial services as banks, often using a different terminology; common services include: share accounts (savings accounts), share draft (checking) accounts, credit cards, share term certificates (certificates of deposit), and online banking.[18] Normally, only a member of a credit union may deposit money with the credit union, or borrow money from it.[19] As such, credit unions have historically marketed themselves as providing superior member service and being committed to helping members improve their financial health. In the microfinance context, "[c]redit unions provide a broader range of loan and savings products at a much cheaper cost [to their members] than do most microfinance institutions."[20]

[edit] Global dispersion

The directors of the Mulukanoor Women's Thrift Cooperative stand at the entrance to their credit union in Warangal district, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Based on data from the World Council of Credit Unions, at the end of 2006 there were 46,377 credit unions in 97 countries around the world. Collectively they served 172 million retail members and oversaw US $1.1 trillion in assets.[21] Note that the World Council does not include data from co-operative banks, so that, for example, some nations generally seen as the pioneers of credit unionism, such as Germany, France, Holland and Italy, are not included in their data. The European Association of Co-operative Banks reported 34 million members in those four countries at the end of 2005.[22]

The nations with the most credit union activity are highly diverse. According to the World Council, nations with the greatest number of credit union members included the United States (87 million), India (20 million), Canada (11 million), South Korea (4.7 million), Japan (3.6 million), Mexico (3.6 million), Australia (3.5 million), Kenya (3.3 million), Ireland (3.0 million), Thailand and Brazil (2.6 million each). Countries with the highest percentage of members in the economically active population were Dominica (147% [numbers higher than 100% are possible because the average person is a member of more than one credit union]), Ireland (110%), Barbados (72%), Trinidad & Tobago (57%), Canada (48%), the United States (43%), Benin (27%), Australia (26%), Senegal and Mali (19% each).

[edit] History

Modern credit union history dates to 1852, when Franz Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch consolidated the learning from two pilot projects, one in Eilenburg and the other in Delitzsch in Germany into what are generally recognized as the first credit unions in the world. He went on to develop a highly successful urban credit union system.[23]

In 1864 Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen founded the first rural credit union in Heddesdorf (now part of Neuwied) in Germany.[24] Although Schulze-Delitzsch can claim chronological precedence, Raiffeisen is often viewed as more important today. Rural communities in Germany faced a far more severe shortage of financial institutions than the cities. They were viewed as unbankable because of very small, seasonal flows of cash and very limited human resources. The organizational methods Raiffeisen refined there, which levered what is today called social capital, have become a hallmark of the global credit union identity.

By the time of Raiffeisen's death in 1888, credit unions had spread to Italy, France, the Netherlands, England and Austria, among other nations. The Raiffeisen name is still used by Raiffeisenbank, the largest banking group in Austria (with subsidiaries throughout Central and Eastern Europe), Rabobank (Netherlands) and similarly-named agricultural credit unions in Germany.

The first credit union in North America, the Caisse Populaire de Lévis in Quebec, Canada, began operations on January 23, 1901 with a ten cent deposit. Founder Alphonse Desjardins, a reporter in the Canadian parliament, was moved to take up his mission in 1897 when he learned of a Montrealer who had been ordered by the court to pay nearly $5,000 in interest on a loan of $150 from a moneylender. Drawing extensively on European precedents, Desjardins developed a unique parish-based model for Quebec: the caisse populaire.

In the United States, St. Mary's Bank Credit Union of Manchester, New Hampshire holds the distinction as the first credit union. Assisted by a personal visit from Desjardins, St. Mary's was founded by French-speaking immigrants to Manchester from Quebec on November 24, 1908. America's Credit Union Museum now occupies the location of the home from which St. Mary's Bank Credit Union first operated.

Pierre Jay, then Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks and Edward Filene, a Bostonian merchant, were central in establishing enabling legislation in Massachusetts in 1909. The Woman's Educational and Industrial Union, credited with many social service initiatives, heard of this cooperative financial model and wrote to DesJardins. He provided them with the data they needed and on November 23, 1910, they created Industrial Credit Union, the first non-faith-based or community credit union, established for all people in the greater Boston community.

Filene also created the Credit Union National Extension Bureau, the forerunner of the Credit Union National Association, which was formed as a confederation of state leagues at a meeting in Estes Park, Colorado in 1934. Attendees at the meeting included Dora Maxwell who would go on to help establish hundreds of credit unions and programs for the poor and Louise McCarren Herring, whose work to form credit unions and ensure their safe operation earned the title of “Mother of Credit Unions” in the United States.

In the same year, Congress passed the Federal Credit Union Act, which permitted credit unions to be organized anywhere in the United States. The legislation allowed credit unions to incorporate under either state or federal law, a system of dual chartering that persists today.

[edit] Not-for-profit status and the need for a surplus

In the credit union context, "not-for-profit" should not be confused with "non-profit" charities or similar organizations.[25] Credit unions are "not-for-profit" because they operate to serve their members rather than to maximize profits.[26] But unlike non-profit organizations, credit unions do not rely on donations, and are financial institutions that must turn what is, in economic terms, a small profit (i.e. "surplus") to be able to continue to serve their members.[27] According to WOCCU, a credit union's revenues (from loans and investments) need to exceed its operating expenses and dividends (interest paid on deposits) in order to maintain capital and solvency[28] and "credit unions use excess earnings to offer members more affordable loans, a higher return on savings, lower fees or new products and services."[29] WOCCU's position is deeply rooted in global credit union history. F.W. Raiffeisen, the founder of the global movement, wrote in 1870 that credit unions "are, according to paragraph eleven of the German law of cooperatives, "merchants" as defined by the common code of commerce. They accordingly form a sort of commerical business enterprise of which the owners are the [Credit] Unions' members."[30]

[edit] Corporate credit unions

Most credit unions provide service only to individual consumers. By contrast, corporate credit unions (also known as central credit unions in Canada) provide service to credit unions, with operational support, funds clearing tasks, and product and service delivery. The largest corporate credit union in the United States is U.S. Central Credit Union of Lenexa, Kansas, which serves as a central clearing house for corporate credit unions and holds approximately $45.3 billion in assets.[31]

[edit] Credit union leagues and associations

The World Council of Credit Unions is both a trade association for credit unions worldwide and a development agency.[32] WOCCU's mission is to "assist its members and potential members to organize, expand, improve and integrate credit unions and related institutions as effective instruments for the economic and social development of all people."[33]

Credit unions in the United States have traditionally used a state/national trade association relationship that aligns credit unions with state “Credit Union Leagues” followed by national affiliation with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) of Madison, Wisconsin. Federal credit unions may also be members of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU).

The Credit Union Executives Society (CUES), based in Madison, Wisconsin, provides professional development and resources to thousands of credit union executives and directors worldwide. It partners with world-renowned universities to offer graduate-level executive education specifically for credit union leaders.

The biggest UK credit union trade association is the Association of British Credit Unions Limited, more commonly known as Association of British Credit Unions, ABCUL. Some Scottish credit unions are represented by the much smaller Scottish League of Credit Unions (SLCU) which has headquarters in Glasgow; however the overall majority of credit unions choose the main British Association.

Credit Union Central of Canada is the trade association for Canada's credit unions outside Quebec. The Desjardins Group represents Quebec's credit unions. Structurally, it blends the functions of a trade association and a more European-style cooperative bank.

Credit Unions often form cooperatives among themselves to provide services to members. A Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) is generally a for-profit subsidiary of one or more credit unions formed for this purpose. For example, CO-OP Financial Services, the largest credit union owned interbank network in the US, provides an ATM network and shared branching services to credit unions. Other examples of cooperatives among credit unions include credit counseling services as well as insurance and investment services.

[edit] United Kingdom

Credit unions in the United Kingdom have a long history. Identical or similar institutions to the present-day credit union were known as mutual societies within the United Kingdom.

Institutions known as mutual societies grew out of the friendly society movement of the 18th century, with the first mutual insurer, Equitable Life, being founded in 1762. The emergence of mutual assurance was linked with the Industrial Revolution and the need to provide for impoverished workers beyond the outmoded Elizabethan Poor Laws, as people congregated in the cities and lived in conditions of squalor and poverty. The principle of mutuality goes back to this epoch, when the sophisticated financial institutions taken for granted today, did not exist.

The only method of improving the quality of ordinary people’s lives was through the development of co-operative and mutual societies, as formalised under the Friendly Societies Act 1819. Mutual institutions thus predated the welfare state and were formed to meet the needs of a burgeoning working class, consisting mainly of rural and immigrant workers. As a practical expression, this communitarian self-help movement allowed small regular individual contributions to be pooled for mutual collective benefit, obtaining the same economies of scope and scale necessary in providing collective insurance and banking products, to mitigate enduring social exclusion. Initially funding was required for housing, consumer durables and emergency insurance provision, at a time when commercial banks were still exclusively commercial lenders, [34].

Building societies were formed as small temporary societies by worker co-operatives, pooling resources to build local houses and subsequently allocating them among members by drawing lots. Once all members were housed, these organisations were typically wound up, although some became permanent societies in an effort to promote wider home ownership, as exemplified by the Leeds Permanent Building Society, see [35]. Surplus funds were then pooled, providing an opportunity for low-income families to earn interest on small deposits, with proceeds typically invested in residential mortgages and liquid government securities.

The traditional intermediation function of mutual societies was to promote thrift among the working classes and thereby provide access to low cost home loans. This ethos has become obscured in the recent battle for customers, and only the very real threat of extinction has occasioned any renewed vigour in proclaiming the original mutuality message. Mutual societies continue to perform vital social functions, often serving on the boards of local community groups, as well as regularly making sizeable local charitable donations. Indeed, the mutual legacy of social benefaction, although quite substantial, risks only being missed by the present generation once such institutions ultimately cease to exist, [36]. With the conversion of most of the larger remaining mutual societies into proprietary companies, the bulk of the UK savings assets will have shifted away from their traditional providers into the mainstream UK financial sector. This change is occurring even as the traditional barriers between banks, building societies and insurance companies are disappearing. The spate of conversions is leading to a polarisation into two camps: the converters and the remaining mutuals.

Credit unions in the United Kingdom have been regulated by the Financial Services Authority since July 2002.[37] They are classified in two types: type 1 are the smaller credit unions while type 2 are larger. From November 2006 many type 2 credit unions began offering their members debit card accounts so that they could withdraw cash from any Link ATM. UK credit unions do not offer cheques as these are generally being phased out in UK financial transactions.[citation needed]

In October 2008 the Financial Services Compensation Scheme guaranteed the first 50,000 pounds of each saver's deposits in credit unions, in line with the guarantee for UK banks and building societies.[38][37]

Credit unions in the UK now offer a wide range of services to their members; from direct debits to payroll deductions, from being able to send standing orders from their accounts to paying members bills to providing cheaper insurance facilities.[citation needed] Life insurance is usually included with membership (subject to pre-existing medical conditions and other exclusions). Death benefits vary between unions, but commonly include lump sum payments, writing off of outstanding loans and doubling of savings.

Credit unions offer savers considerably more protection than commercial "savings clubs", as was demonstrated by the 2006 collapse of the Christmas hamper club Farepak.

Currently[when?] there is a government financial initiative mainly being operated by credit unions to bring financial services to the economically disadvantaged members of society. One aim is to significantly reduce the influence of door step lenders (and illegal "loan sharks") where a £300 loan over 30 weeks may involve paying back around £450; a credit union loan would typically require paying back around £325.[citation needed]

Credit unions are called caisses populaires in French-speaking communities of Canada. This one is located in Shediac, New Brunswick.

[edit] Canada

Canada has the highest per-capita use of credit unions in North America, with more than a third of the population enrolled in one.[39] They are concentrated in Quebec, where they are known as caisses populaires (people's banks), and in the Western provinces.[citation needed]

As of December 31, 2007, the Caisses Populaires Desjardins federated 536 member caisses with CAD$ 144 billion in assets and 5.8 million retail members, making it the sixth largest financial institution in Canada[40].

Credit Union Central of Canada federates most credit unions in the English-speaking provinces. As of late 2008, the 10 affiliated systems operated 444 credit unions controlling CAD $111 billion in assets from 5.1 million retail members[41]. Other major Canadian credit unions include Vancity, Coast Capital Savings and Credit Union Atlantic.

[edit] United States

RTP Federal Credit Union in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

In the United States, as of 2005 credit unions have 86 million members, which is 43.47% of the economically active population.[42] U.S. credit unions are not-for-profit, cooperative, tax-exempt organizations.[43]

U.S. credit unions can be chartered by either the federal government ("federal credit unions")[44] or by a state.[45] The states of Delaware, South Dakota, and Wyoming do not regulate credit unions at the state level; in those states, a credit union must obtain a federal charter to operate.[46] All federal credit unions and 95% of state-chartered credit unions have "share insurance" (deposit insurance) of at least $250,000 per member through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).[47][48] This deposit insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government and is administered by the National Credit Union Administration.[49] As of December 2006, the NCUSIF had a higher insurance fund capital ratio than the fund for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).[50] U.S. credit unions also typically have higher equity capital ratios than U.S. banks.[51]

As of the end of 2007, the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund insured more than $560 billion in deposits at 8,101 not-for-profit cooperative US credit unions.[52] For comparison, the FDIC insured more than $4 trillion in deposits at 8,560 banks and thrift institutions.[53] The NCUA and the FDIC are both independent federal agencies backed by the full faith and credit of the US government.

United States credit unions typically pay higher dividend (interest) rates on shares (deposits) and charge lower interest on loans than banks.[54] Credit unions therefore often have a higher cost of assets (i.e. interest expense as a percentage of average assets) than commercial banks, with aggregate U.S. credit union cost of assets being higher than the aggregate U.S. bank cost of assets in eight of the thirteen years between 1995 and 2007.[55] Credit union revenues (from loans and investments) do, however, need to exceed operating expenses and dividends (interest paid on deposits) in order to maintain capital and solvency.

Due to their small size and limited exposure to mortgage securitizations, credit unions have weathered the financial meltdown of 2008 reasonably well. However, two of the biggest credit unions in the United States with combined assets of more than $57 billion were recently taken over by the federal government National Credit Union Administration[56] on March 20, 2009.

[edit] Membership restrictions

In the United States, as elsewhere, credit unions were formed around a single church, place of work, or town. Membership was limited to those who were in the field of membership. The Federal Credit Union Act of 1934 limited membership to "groups having a common bond of occupation or association, or to groups within a well-defined neighborhood, community or rural district."[57]

A 1982 federal regulation during Ronald Reagan's presidency allowed many credit unions to grow their memberships and expand into multiple states. Credit union membership reached 71 million members by 1997, more than double the number of members in 1991.[57] This expansion prompted banks to challenge the 1982 regulation as illegal, a challenge upheld in a 1998 U.S. Supreme Court decision, NCUA v. First National Bank & Trust[57][58] Within five months, both houses of Congress passed a bill signed by President Clinton to overturn the Court's decision.[59]

As of 2003, U.S. governmental regulatory agencies require that credit unions restrict their membership to defined segments of the population, such as people who live, work, worship, or attend school in a well-defined geographic area; employees of specific companies or trades; members of specific non-profit groups (alumni associations, conservation or other advocacy organizations, lodges, churches, or the like); or a particular occupational group (teachers, doctors, etc.).[60] In the U.S., this is referred to as a credit union's "field of membership." Internationally it is referred to as the bond of association.

Credit unions may typically be chartered to serve a specific employee or associational group or groups (often called a Select Employee Group or "SEG Charter"), all members of a trade, industry, or profession (a "TIP Charter"), or have a "Community Charter" (typically a field of membership of anyone who lives, works, goes to school, or attends religious services in a particular city, county, or counties).[61] When a credit union converts to a Community Charter from a SEG Charter or TIP Charter, it can continue to serve its existing members as well as anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school within its new geographical field of membership, but cannot admit new members from its former SEG(s) or TIP (unless the group in question is located within "the new community credit union's boundaries").[62] Similarly, a credit union that converts to a TIP or SEG charter from a different charter type can no longer admit new members from its old field of membership.[63]

Typically, members' families – such as immediate family or household members – can also join the credit union.[64] In the United States, the National Credit Union Administration or a state regulator – depending upon whether or not the credit union is chartered by the federal government or by a state – decides whether or not to approve or deny proposed field of membership expansions or charter conversions to other credit union charters.[65]

Mergers of smaller credit unions with disparate membership bases often result in a credit union with a wide variety of ways to qualify to join; thus, a credit union may have a much broader "field of membership" than that credit union's name would imply. Credit unions generally follow the principle of "once a member, always a member," which allows current credit union membership to continue even if the individual would no longer qualify to be a member (such as having changed professions or moved outside the area).

Many credit unions reserve the right of expulsion against a member who causes a financial loss.[66] Some credit unions also have expelled members, including elected Board and Supervisory Committee volunteers, for making whistleblower complaints against credit union management.[67][68][69]

[edit] Underserved and low-income areas

Federal credit unions may apply to the NCUA for Low-Income Credit Union or LICU status. To qualify for LICU status, the majority of the credit union's membership meet specific requirements in order to be considered "low-income". This LICU status allows the credit unions to benefit from certain NCUA programs to enhance its capacity to serve underserved populations who may otherwise lack access to credit or other financial services. In addition, some state regulators also provide for similar low-income designations.

Unlike banks, which were caught redlining underserved areas in the 1970s, credit unions are not subject to federal "community reinvestment" requirements, essentially because credit unions, by their nature and mission of "people helping people," already meet the financial needs of a broad spectrum of people that fall within their fields of membership, and play an active role in community development and growth.[citation needed] Credit unions, with the support of Republicans[59] have successfully lobbied to exempt themselves from the (U.S. federal) Community Reinvestment Act, the law that forces banks to provide services in low-income areas.

2006 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data shows that U.S. credit unions approved 69% of low- and moderate-income borrowers' mortgage applications that they received, versus a 47% low/moderate-income borrower approval rate for other U.S. mortgage lenders, and also that U.S. credit unions approved 62% of minority members' mortgage applications, versus a 51% minority approval rate for other U.S. mortgage lenders.[70] The 2006 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data also shows that 25.2% of all U.S. credit union mortgage originations were mortgages for low- or moderate-income borrowers, versus a 20.6% low- or moderate-income borrower mortgage origination percentage for other U.S. mortgage lenders.[71] The NCUA, however, has long discouraged U.S. credit unions from giving members loans that they may not be able to afford to repay and has forbidden other types of predatory lending and abusive credit practices.[72] Federal credit unions are also forbidden from charging prepayment penalties on loans.[73]

[edit] Credit unions vs banks

Establishing an account at a credit union usually requires a smaller deposit than that of a bank; credit unions usually require $5.00-$30.00 to open an account, while major banks sometimes require $50.00-100.00 deposit.[citation needed]

Tension has always existed between member-owned cooperative credit unions and for-profit banks in the US. When credit unions were first organizing in the United States in the early 20th century, the banking industry was opposed, remaining so ever since. Despite the fact that credit unions continue to hold a very small share of the financial services market, banks and bank trade associations consistently put anti-credit union legislation at the top of their agendas.[74]

Due to their status as not-for-profit, member-owned financial institutions with no source of secondary investment capital, credit unions in the United States are exempt from federal and state income taxes (but, not from employment or property taxes). Credit union members themselves pay income tax on dividends earned through financial participation in the credit union; this is similar to the taxation structure enjoyed by many banks incorporated under Subchapter S of Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code.[75]

Bank holding companies and their affiliates aggressively compete to provide services to credit unions through their ATM networks, corporate checking accounts, and certificate of deposit programs. In 2007, the American Bankers Association barred credit union employees from attending ABA-sponsored educational seminars. This includes online classes that require registration. Based on the pretext that the ABA only wants to serve its members, the American Bankers Association continues to attempt to weaken credit unions and take back the 6% market share that credit unions currently hold.[76]

Credit unions maintain that no matter their size or field of membership, the fact that they are owned by their members and not shareholders makes them fundamentally different than banks.[77]

[edit] Credit union-to-bank conversions

Since 1995, over 30 US credit unions have converted from credit union charters to bank charters.[78] These conversions are generally initiated by a credit union's leadership team, rather than from the rank-and-file membership, and have created sharp controversy within the credit union industry.[79] Some have questioned whether these conversions are in the best interests of the credit union members, and have compared them to the mutual savings bank conversion raids of the 1980s.[80]

Like the mutual savings raids, credit union conversions have been very lucrative for executives and directors of converting credit unions.[80] CU Financial, a consulting firm that helps credit union management execute these conversions, has explained in marketing materials that if a credit union with $50 million in capital converts to a stock bank, under certain conditions a payoff in the “$1.2 million range for each director is not out of the question," while executives might also expect additional stock compensation that "could lead to a $10 million plus ownership stake for a capable CEO".[81]

Members of at least six credit unions have organized to oppose their management's conversion proposals, objecting that this insider enrichment comes at the detriment of credit union members. They point out that while insiders have made windfall profits, most members have lost their ownership stake without compensation, and face worse rates and fees after the conversion.[82] Comparisons of interest rates show that credit unions that have converted to banks now charge their members more for loans, and pay less for savings.[83][84] Member groups have included Save Columbia Credit Union, Save First Basin Credit Union, and DFCU Owners United.

The National Center for Member Trust is a consumer protection non-profit "formed to support the member-owners of credit unions that are attempting to convert to banks."[85] The Coalition for Credit Union Charter Options is an advocacy group for converting credit unions. UC Berkeley Professor of Financial Institutions James Wilcox is an expert who has released a number of studies on the issue.[86] His findings are summarized in Credit Union Conversions: Ripe for Abuse ... and Reforms, published in the Credit Union Times July 2006.

[edit] References

  1. ^ E.g., 12 U.S.C. § 1752(1), available at; CUNA Model Credit Union Act § 0.20 (2007); see also 12 U.S.C. § 1757, available at; CUNA Model Credit Union Act § 3.10 (2007).
  2. ^ Sullivan, arthur; Steven M. Sheffrin (2003). Economics: Principles in action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. pp. 511. ISBN 0-13-063085-3. 
  3. ^ See, e.g., National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, "What is a CDCU?;"
  4. ^ See, e.g., WOCCU, "International Development: Development Programs;"
  5. ^ See WOCCU, Statistical Report (2007), available at
  6. ^ Mike Schenk, Vice President for Economics and Statistics, CUNA, "Commercial Banks and Credit Unions: Facts, Fallacies, and Recent Trends," at *2 (2007), available at
  7. ^ WOCCU, "What is a Credit Union?;"
  8. ^ See for example the Ontario Credit Union Act, 1994 (as amended) c.11, s.24 (i)
  9. ^ WOCCU, "What is a Credit Union?;" (last visited July 23, 2008)
  10. ^ See, e.g., CUNA, Products and Services, "Spanish Stuffer: Las Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito;" (last visited July 15, 2008); DePeru, "Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito;" (last visited July 15, 2008)
  11. ^ See, e.g., Caja Popular Mexicana, "Misión;" (last visited July 15, 2008) (you have to navigate to the "Misión" link)
  12. ^ See, e.g., Desjardins, "Liste de caisses par région," (last visited July 23, 2008).
  13. ^ See, e.g., Banque Populaire de Rwanda, S.A., "Historique de l'UBPR," (last visited July 23, 2008).
  14. ^ WOCCU, "What is a Credit Union?," (last visited July 23, 2008).
  15. ^ See, e.g., 12 U.S.C. § 1757(6), available at; CUNA Model Credit Union Act § 0.70 (2007).
  16. ^ E.g., 12 U.S.C. § 1760, available at; CUNA Model Credit Union Act § 4.90 (2007).
  17. ^ E.g., 12 U.S.C. §§ 1760-1761b, available at; CUNA Model Credit Union Act §§ 5.15-5.20 (2007).
  18. ^ See, e.g., 12 U.S.C. § 1757, available at; CUNA Model Credit Union Act § 3.10 (2007).
  19. ^ E.g., 12 U.S.C. § 1757, available at; CUNA Model Credit Union Act § 3.10 (2007).
  20. ^ The Microfinance Gateway, "Credit Unions: Questions to Barry Lennon of WOCCU," available at (last visited July 16, 2008) (follow link to "Credit Unions: Questions to Barry Lennon of WOCCU").
  21. ^ World Council of Credit Unions, 2006 Statistical Report.
  22. ^ European Association of Cooperative Banks, Annual Statistical Report, 2005.
  23. ^ J. Carroll Moody & Gilbert C. Fite. The Credit Union Movement: Origins and Development 1850 to 1980. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, Iowa, 1984, p. 4
  24. ^ J. Carroll Moody & Gilbert C. Fite. The Credit Union Movement: Origins and Development 1850 to 1980. p. 8
  25. ^ Compare "not-for-profit," definition B, noun, Oxford English Dictionary (2008) ("An organization, corporation, etc., which does not operate for the purpose of making a profit."), with "non-profit," definition A(2), noun, Oxford English Dictionary (2008) ("A non-profit-making organization; spec. a charity.").
  26. ^ Compare "not-for-profit," definition A, adjective, Oxford English Dictionary (2008) ("Designating an organization, corporation, etc., which does not operate for the purpose of making a profit. Cf. NON-PROFIT, adj., FOR-PROFIT adj."), with WOCCU, "What is a Credit Union?," ("As not-for-profit cooperative institutions, credit unions use excess earnings to offer members more affordable loans, a higher return on savings, lower fees or new products and services."), and The Microfinance Gateway, "Credit Unions: Questions to Barry Lennon of WOCCU," available at (last visited July 16, 2008) (follow link to "Credit Unions: Questions to Barry Lennon of WOCCU") ("Credit unions don't try to maximize profitability by charging high fees or rates of interest because they are owned by the people who use their services.").
  27. ^ See WOCCU, "PEARLS: Ratios: R - Rate of Return and Costs & S - Signs of Growth;"; The Microfinance Gateway, "Credit Unions: Questions to Barry Lennon of WOCCU," available at (last visited July 16, 2008) (follow link to "Credit Unions: Questions to Barry Lennon of WOCCU").
  28. ^ See WOCCU, "PEARLS: Ratios: R - Rate of Return and Costs& S - Signs of Growth;"
  29. ^ WOCCU, "What is a Credit Union?;"
  30. ^ F.W. Raiffeisen. The Credit Unions. Trans. by Konrad Engelmann. The Raiffeisen Printing and Publishing Company, Neuwid on the Rhine, Germany, 1970.
  31. ^ U.S. Central FCU, "About U.S. Central," (last visited July 23, 2008).
  32. ^ WOCCU, "Mission,"
  33. ^ WOCCU, "Mission,"
  34. ^ see Shay (1992)
  35. ^ Anonymous (1994b)
  36. ^ according to Stahl (1995)
  37. ^ a b ABCUL. Retrieved 2008-10-17
  38. ^ FSCS FSCS - Consumer home page - Consumer Key Facts - Limitations of the scheme - Compensation Limits. Retrieved 2008-10-17
  39. ^ World Council of Credit Unions[specify]
  40. ^ Desjardins Group. Desjardins Group figures.
  41. ^ Credit Union Central of Canada. System Results - 3rd quarter, 2008.
  42. ^ 2005 statistical report from the World Council of Credit Unions
  43. ^ See, e.g., 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(14)(A) for state-chartered credit unions and 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(1) for federally-chartered credit unions, available at; CUNA Model Credit Union Act § 0.20 (2007); see also 12 U.S.C. §§ 1751 note, 1752(1), 1768, available at
  44. ^ See 12 U.S.C. §§ 1751-1772d, available at
  45. ^ See, e.g., Massachusetts General Laws chapter 171, §§ 1-84 (2008).
  46. ^ Texas Sunset Commission report on the Texas Credit Union Commission
  47. ^ "NASCUS State-Chartered Credit Union Facts & Figures" (PDF). National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors. 2007-12-31. Retrieved on 2008-07-19. 
  48. ^ See NCUA, "Share Insurance,"; see also 12 U.S.C. §§ 1781-1790d, available at
  49. ^ See NCUA, "Share Insurance,"; see also 12 U.S.C. §§ 1781-1790d, available at
  50. ^ See CUNA, "Frequently Requested U.S. Credit Union/Bank Comparisons;"
  51. ^ See CUNA, "Frequently Requested U.S. Credit Union/Bank Comparisons;"
  52. ^ "National Credit Union Administration Annual Report 2007". written at Alexandria, VA (PDF). National Credit Union Administration. Retrieved on 2008-07-07. 
  53. ^ "FDIC: 2007 Annual Report". Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. 2008-02-15. Retrieved on 2008-07-14. 
  54. ^ CUNA Ratedex comparing bank and credit union rates
  55. ^ See CUNA, "CU and Commercial Bank Cost of Assets," available at
  56. ^
  57. ^ a b c High Court Restricts Credit Union Membership, a February 1998 article from the Los Angeles Times
  58. ^ National Credit Union Administration v. First National Bank & Trust Co. et al. from a Cornell Law School website
  59. ^ a b Congress OKs Bill on Credit Union Membership, an August 1998 article from the Los Angeles Times
  60. ^ See, e.g., National Credit Union Administration, "Chartering and FOM Manual," IRPS 03-01 (2003), as amended by "Organization and Operations of Federal Credit Unions," IRPS 06-01 (2006), available at
  61. ^ See, e.g., National Credit Union Administration, "Chartering and FOM Manual," IRPS 03-01 (2003), as amended by "Organization and Operations of Federal Credit Unions," IRPS 06-01 (2006), available at
  62. ^ See, e.g., National Credit Union Administration, "Chartering and FOM Manual," IRPS 03-01 (2003), at 2-44, as amended by "Organization and Operations of Federal Credit Unions," IRPS 06-01 (2006), available at
  63. ^ See, e.g., National Credit Union Administration, "Chartering and FOM Manual," IRPS 03-01 (2003), as amended by "Organization and Operations of Federal Credit Unions," IRPS 06-01 (2006), available at
  64. ^ See, e.g., National Credit Union Administration, "Chartering and FOM Manual," IRPS 03-01 (2003), as amended by "Organization and Operations of Federal Credit Unions," IRPS 06-01 (2006), available at
  65. ^ See, e.g., National Credit Union Administration, "Chartering and FOM Manual," IRPS 03-01 (2003), as amended by "Organization and Operations of Federal Credit Unions," IRPS 06-01 (2006), available at
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^
  69. ^
  70. ^ Mike Schenk, Vice President for Economics and Statistics, CUNA, "Commercial Banks and Credit Unions: Facts, Fallacies, and Recent Trends," at *31 (2007), available at
  71. ^ Mike Schenk, Vice President for Economics and Statistics, CUNA, "Commercial Banks and Credit Unions: Facts, Fallacies, and Recent Trends," at *33 (2007), available at
  72. ^ See, e.g., NCUA, Letter to Credit Union No. 05-CU-15 Enclosure (2005), available at; NCUA, Risk Alert No. 05-RISK-01 (2005), available at; see also 12 C.F.R. pt. 706, available at
  73. ^ 12 U.S.C. § 1757(5)(A)(viii), available at
  74. ^ Burger, Carol Anne; David Morrison (2008-02-06). "ABA Priorities Draw CUNA’s Ire". Credit Union Times (Highline Media). Retrieved on 2008-07-09. 
  75. ^ 26 U.S.C. §§ 1361-1379, available at; see Mike Schenk, Vice President for Economics and Statistics, CUNA, "Commercial Banks and Credit Unions: Facts, Fallacies, and Recent Trends," at *22-*25 (2007), available at
  76. ^ American Bankers Association, "Industry Issues: Operation Credit Unions,"
  77. ^ Why Credit Unions are tax exempt, from the governmental affairs section of CUNA's web site.
  78. ^
  79. ^
  80. ^ a b "For Years, Consultants and Greed Have Driven Coops in Other Industries to go Stock-owned; CU Wave May be Just Starting", Credit Union Times, March 17th, 2004.
  81. ^ Albert B. Crenshaw, Banks Look to Make Converts Of Credit Unions, Washington Post, February 11, 2006, page D1
  82. ^
  83. ^
  84. ^
  85. ^
  86. ^

[edit] Further reading

  • Ian MacPherson. Hands Around the Globe: A History of the International Credit Union Movement and the Role and Development of the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. Horsdal & Schubart Publishers Ltd, 1999.
  • F.W. Raiffeisen. The Credit Unions. Trans. by Konrad Engelmann. The Raiffeisen Printing and Publishing Company, Neuwid on the Rhine, Germany, 1970.

[edit] External links

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