World Council of Credit Unions
The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is an international trade association and development agency for credit unions headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

. Members of the WOCCU include regional and national credit union associations, cooperative associations and business service organizations in 97 countries throughout the world. WOCCU's member associations account for over 54,000 credit unions with 186 million members worldwide.


WOCCU was founded on January 1, 1971 as the global trade association for credit unions. WOCCU has worked with the United States Agency for International Development
United States Agency for International Development
The United States Agency for International Development is the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. President John F. Kennedy created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas...

 (USAID) and the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) to build Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives in Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. In 2006, WOCCU received a $6.7 million grant from the Gates Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It is "driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family"...

to develop credit unions in Africa and Latin America.

Credit union development

WOCCU supports the development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world by working with national and regional credit associations. WOCCU raises the awareness of credit unions, facilitates the exchange of information and ideas about financial cooperatives, and works with policymakers to improve the legal and regulatory environments for credit unions.

WOCCU's work focuses on:
  • Institutional development and self-sufficiency
  • Market based approaches to savings mobilization
  • Increasing access to financial services through democratic participation
  • Loan services emphasizing member needs and high repayment rates
  • Safety and efficiency through financial management systems and controls
  • Assistance in developing an effective legal/regulatory framework for credit unions
  • International exchange among credit unions through partnerships
  • Micro-enterprise through access to savings and credit services
  • Support of women through awareness of gender issues.

International Credit Union Day

International Credit Union Day has been celebrated by the World Council of Credit Unions on the third Thursday of October, since 1948. The day is set aside to reflect upon the history of the credit union movement and to promote the achievements.
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