The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) recently released its 2022 Statistical Report, unveiling a significant milestone in the global credit union movement. The report highlights that credit union membership worldwide exceeded 400 million, marking a remarkable achievement and reflecting the movement’s continued growth and impact.
As of December 31, 2022, there were an impressive 403,976,049 credit union members spread across 98 countries. This figure represents a 3% increase compared to the previous year. While membership growth exhibited modest growth on a global scale, several countries with dynamic credit union systems stood out, showcasing substantial membership growth. Notable examples include Brazil, with a remarkable 25% increase, the Philippines at 19%, and Ireland with an impressive 17% growth rate.
The last decade, from 2013 to 2022, witnessed an extraordinary expansion in global credit union membership, with numbers more than doubling. Notably, Asia experienced the most significant surge, with a staggering 250% growth in membership. Furthermore, Latin America and Africa each more than doubled their credit union memberships, while European membership remained relatively stable.
Global credit union assets also demonstrated a 3% year-over-year increase, reaching $3.6 trillion. Over the past decade, this represents more than a twofold expansion from $1.7 trillion. Remarkably, Asia spearheaded the asset growth, with credit union assets tripling over the decade.
Thomas Belekevich, Director of Member Services at WOCCU, offered insights into these findings. He noted that countries with well-established credit union and cooperative movements are experiencing accelerated growth compared to other regions. Belekevich expressed WOCCU’s commitment to fostering an environment conducive to credit union sectors in countries with the highest potential for growth. The organization’s aim is to exceed 500 million members over the next decade.
The growing global credit union movement showcases the enduring appeal and relevance of these financial cooperatives in different corners of the world. As credit unions continue to expand their memberships and assets, their community-focused approach and commitment to financial inclusion play a vital role in addressing the financial needs of millions of people worldwide. This trend reflects the positive impact credit unions have on individuals and communities and their potential to further extend their reach in the coming years.