Data gathered by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) shows substantial growth in membership for the sector.
According to WOCCU’s Statistical Report for 2018, credit unions added more than 14 million members in 2018 to reach a record of 274 million across 118 countries. This represents an increase from 2017 when the report included data on 89,026 credit unions serving over 260 million members in 117 countries.
Credit unions in Africa witnessed the largest increase in membership, welcoming 21 percent more members than in 2017. In Asia, the membership growth rate was 13 percent, while in Europe it dropped by 2 percent. Membership was also up by 4.3 percent in the U.S. and 4.1 percent North America.
Globally, credit union membership has increased by 90 million since 2010, 40 million of which have been added since 2016.
“The global credit union movement is growing at a rapid pace as our philosophy of ‘people over profits’ continues to resonate across six continents,” said WOCCU president and CEO Brian Branch.
“We continue to see high growth among credit unions … that provide their core services via online and mobile channels. That growth has been driven by consumer demands for convenience and seamless integration into the digital economy,” Branch added.
Woccu’s report also looks at the assets of credit unions, which have increased by more than 3 percent worldwide in 2018, while savings, loans and reserves also grew. The research is based on country responses to WOCCU’s annual survey.