Last Updated 14 Apr 2020

The Development Of Credit Unions

Category Banking, Credit, Money
Essay type Research
Words 497 (1 page)
Views 248

A credit union is a member owned member controlled not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Credit unions were formed to provide loans to its members at lower rates of interest than would be other wise available.

The first credit union was formed by a group of farmers in Belgium, 1848, during a period of severe economic depression. Townspeople pulled their money together to provide loans to each other. This cooperative approach helped farmers avoid paying the high rates being charged by "loan sharks". These loans enabled a farmer to buy the necessities to plant a crop or to help members buy coal in bulk at lower prices.

At the time of their origins the only financial assistance available was the local moneylenders. At the time of the depression people who took out loans were forced to pay expensive interest rates. Credit Unions serve low-income people. A person"s ability (income) to repay is considered more important than the desire to sustain the assets of the credit union. Members are borrowing their own money and that of their peers.

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By 1900 the first financial cooperative idea had spread from Germany to Canada. Canadas successful efforts influenced two Americans. Pierre Jay the Massachusetts bank commissioner and Edward A. Filene a Boston merchant. These two men helped organized public hearings on the credit union legislative in Massachusetts. This led the establishment of the first Credit Union Act in the United States in 1909.

The growth of credit unions across the U.S. was slow. Fewer than 10 states passed credit union laws. 1934 Congress passed the Federal Credit Union Act. This act set the basic structure, which governs credit unions today, examples:

Member control is democratically exercised regardless of the number of shares held.

Loans, which are primary investment for credit union, are made exclusively to members.

A board of directors supervises management

By 1935 38 states and the District of Columbia had laws permitting the establishment of credit union and over 3,000 were in existence.

In 1970"s credit unions were battling with the government for federal share insurance and the campaign for national fund to support the community developed credit unions (CDCU). In 1970 congress established the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) an independent agency responsible for regulating and chartering federal credit unions and NCUA and Congress also established the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. This enabled the NCUA to insure the shares of all the federal and state credit unions. In 1978 the Federal Credit Union Act was amended to establish a three-member board, appointed by the president, to head NCUA.

Nationally, there are almost 11,000 credit unions with over

73 million members. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA)

is the national trade for credit unions. In addition, there are 50 state credit union leagues and leagues for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The credit union movement is growing throughout the world, including third-world countries and Europe where people need assistance with setting up consumer finance systems. There are over 37,000 credit unions worldwide in 87 nations with over 88 million members.

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Cite this page

The Development Of Credit Unions. (2018, Jun 11). Retrieved from

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