It is my pleasure to send greetings from the International Co-operative Alliance to friends and co-operators across the worldwide credit union movement on this International Credit Union Day 2011.
For over 60 years credit unions have come together annually on the third Thursday in October to commemorate the credit union movement’s history and achievements.
This is a day when our movement celebrates the credit union difference and recognises the contributions that the 49,000 credit unions in 97 countries worldwide make every day to the lives of their members and their communities. No matter where you are in the world, access to financial services is vital. For more than 150 years, credit unions worldwide have proudly put people before profits in order to provide access to affordable financial services for all members.
In the run up to the launch this 31 October of the UN International Year of Co-operatives 2012, this day gains even more significance in getting the message out that there is another way of running financial services, which focuses on human need not human greed, where members collectively enjoy the benefits instead of all profits going just to shareholders.
This is why it is great to see that the theme for this year’s ICU Day is ‘Credit Unions Build a Better World’ which reflects the tagline for next year’s UN International Year ‘Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World’.
Both today and throughout next year, we must take the opportunity to excite a global audience on the important economic and social contributions credit unions make to their communities worldwide and so inspire ever more people to choose credit unions for accessible financial services going forward.