Credit Unions Around the World

To celebrate International Credit Union Day, we shared stories of credit unions from around the world. Take a trip around the globe and read all about credit unions in different countries…


Credit Unions in Ireland (North and South) are represented by The Irish League of Credit Unions. The first Irish credit union was founded in 1960 and now there are 289 credit unions across the country, serving 3.6 million members. Credit unions are at the heart of their communities and have been a lifeline to their members throughout the cost-of-living crisis.


The first American credit union can be traced back to 1909, New Hampshire. Now, there are over 135 million credit union members in the USA from 4,760 credit unions. Credit Unions across the Atlantic offer services to rival high-street banks, but with a human focus.


India is home to 1,918 credit unions, serving 92 million credit union members. Since the late 1800’s, credit unions have been providing financial support to communities in India. Credit unions in India offer fewer services than the traditional banks, but they do offer more affordable rates and more ATM locations across the country.


Nearly half of Nepal’s population are members of a credit union! The first credit union in Nepal can be traced back to 1957 in Chitwan. Now there are 10,200 credit unions and over 9 million members. Credit unions really are a vital service to Nepalis.


Since 1969 credit unions in Togo have been offering savings and loans to their members. With just 75 credit unions across the country, it is amazing to see over ¾ of the population being credit union members.


Jamaica is home to just 25 credit unions but over 1 million members! Credit unions often refer to their members as part of their family and International Credit Union Day is widely celebrated on the Caribbean islands with parties.


Credit unions in Mexico have been a lifeline to many people living in remote villages. Credit unions are an important aspect of the Mexican culture and are often celebrated along with Hispanic Heritage Month, focusing on how credit unions strive to provide affordable, sustainable, and responsible financial products and services to empower Hispanic and immigrant communities.


Credit unions across the UK have played a vital role our communities and throughout history credit unions have been providing savings and affordable loans to members to help ease financial strain. The products offered by UK credit unions may seem similar to banks and building societies, but our ethos is very different. Owned by members, run for the benefit of members, members are at the heart of everything we do!


With an average of 500 members per credit union, credit unions are small but mighty in Turkey. Earlier this year, Turkey was devastated by earthquakes. Credit unions pulled together to launch the Turkish Cooperative Earthquake Relief Fund to make sure the greatest needs of the country and individuals were looked after.