The number of Ukrainian credit unions, members and assets is declining due to ongoing Russian attacks on the country.
Membership of the All-Ukrainian Credit Union Association (AUCUA) has dropped from 63 active credit unions on 31 December, 2021 to 53 by 30 June, 2022. In the same timespan, membership of the Ukrainian National Association of Savings and Credit Unions (UNASCU) dropped from 53 to 40 member credit unions.
Ukrainian membership of credit unions also dropped by 16% and the sector’s assets have declined by 28%.
During October, Russia launched its most extensive attacks on Ukraine in months, with a focus on energy facilities. Many of Ukraine’s credit unions are located in areas where energy infrastructure has been destroyed, meaning they can only operate for a few hours each day due to rolling blackouts.
Last month the World Council of Credit Unions (Woccu) reported that the houses of more than 10 credit union members and employees in the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine were damaged or destroyed by Russian shelling, and one credit union in the Dnipro Region has had to reduce its opening hours to conserve energy.
Occurrences like this have become commonplace since Russia began ramping up attacks across Ukraine, says Woccu.
AUCUA and UNASCU are working with the National Bank of Ukraine, which regulates the country’s credit unions, to support credit unions that are still operating.
Woccu is continuing its support for AUCUA and UNASCU. The global trade association and development platform for credit unions is offering advice to both of its member credit union associations on how to handle the crisis they are facing, through its International Advocacy team and the USAID-funded Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project.