World Council of Credit Unions

The World Council of Credit Unions (World Council or WOCCU) is the leading international trade association and development agency for credit unions and cooperative financial institutions. World Council promotes the self-sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations, and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council of Credit Unions
World Council of Credit Unions logo.png
FormationNovember 10, 1970; 50 years ago (1970-11-10)[1]
TypeTrade association
Legal status501(c)(6)[2]
PurposeTo assist members and potential members to organize, expand, improve, and integrate credit unions as effective instruments for economic development.[2]
HeadquartersMadison, Wisconsin, United States
Brian Branch[3]
SubsidiariesWorldwide Foundation for Credit Unions (501(c)(3)), WOCCU Services Group (C corp.), WOCCU Mexico (Corp.)[2]
Revenue (2018)
Expenses (2018)$9,695,483[2]
Employees (2018)
Volunteers (2018)
  1. ^ Only includes U.S. employees.

World Council is funded by member dues, government agency and foundation grants and annual gifts to its foundation. World Council of Credit Unions and its subsidiaries are headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. World Council also has a permanent office in Washington, D.C., and program offices worldwide.

In cooperation with its member organizations in nearly 60 countries, World Council champions the credit union model worldwide to continue growing the international movement of 75,000 credit unions in 109 countries that serve 260 million members.[4]


World Council was incorporated on November 10, 1970,[1] as the global trade association for credit unions. World Council has worked with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) to build Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives in Afghanistan.[5] In 2006, World Council received a $6.7 million grant from the Gates Foundation to develop credit unions in Africa and Latin America.[6]

Credit union developmentEdit

World Council supports the self-sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services.[7] With funding from a wide range of multi-lateral, government and private partners, World Council promotes economic security, resilience and livelihoods strengthening through the sustainable development of local, well managed, savings-led financial institutions. World Council reaches marginalized and traditionally unbanked populations and has worked with credit unions in 71 countries to provide a range of affordable, pro-poor financial products and services. World Council 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.

World Council'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.[7]

World Council currently implements international credit union development programs in:

International Credit Union DayEdit

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.[8]


  1. ^ a b "World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. - Entity ID 6W12115" Corporate Records. Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". World Council of Credit Unions. Internal Revenue Service. December 31, 2018.
  3. ^ "Management". World Council of Credit Unions. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  4. ^ The credit union associations of Azerbaijan became a member of the World Council of Credit Unions. Azerbaijan Business Center. 9 Apr. 2009.
  5. ^ World Council of Credit Unions' Afghanistan Project Expands with $27.7 Million in Funding. PR Newswire. 27 Nov. 2006.
  6. ^ Gates Foundation Awards Microfinance Grant to World Council of Credit Unions. Wisbusiness. 3 Nov. 2006.
  7. ^ a b International Co-operative Information Centre
  8. ^ International Credit Union Day


  • Branch, Brian & Janette Klaehn. Striking the Balance in Microfinance: A Practical Guide to Mobilizing Savings. PACT Publications, Washington, 2002.
  • MacPherson, Ian. Hands Around the Globe: A History of the International Credit Union Movement and the Role and Development of World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. Horsdal & Schubart Publishers & WOCCU, Victoria, Canada 1999.
  • Westley, Glenn D. & Brian Branch (eds). Safe Money: Building Effective Credit Unions in Latin America. Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, 2000.

External linksEdit