World Council of Credit Unions’s (WOCCU) newly released 2020 Statistical Report states a 29+ year-to-year increase in international credit union membership. As of December 31, 2020, Global Credit Union has 375,160,065 credit union members in 118 countries. The rise in the number of members is accredited to improved supervision and data reporting in India, the world’s second-most populous country, which has more than 91 million credit union members. In 2019, India had only about 20 million credit union members. Despite the onset of the pandemic and global lockdowns, the international credit union movement grew by more than 14 million members in the rest of the world. Asia saw a membership increase of 114%, Latin America grew at a rate of 10%, and African and Caribbean credit unions saw an individual increase of 7% each.
According to the report, Credit Union assets surpassed the $3 million mark for the first time after growing 23%. Member savings grew faster than credit union loans, following global trends in increased risks in credit portfolio quality and weaker demand for credit. As compared to 2019, the dollar amount of member savings went up by 24%, with loans increasing just 11% globally. In developing and emerging markets, the difference was even more evident as in Africa, savings grew by 65%, and Latin America saw a growth of 14%.
Additionally, in 2020, the WOCCU included demographic data in its Statistical Report, compiled from surveys of 34 member associations. The results indicated a considerable gender gap, as the number of men surpasses the number of women in credit unions, both in terms of membership and in chief executive or board director positions, by a huge majority. Men account for 60% of all credit union members in Asia, Africa, and Europe. In August, WOCCU’s board of directors chose their first women president/ CEO, Elissa McCarter La Borde. “There is no question credit unions have work to do when it comes to attracting more women as members and leaders…World Council looks forward to working with our members to address these challenges and improve outcomes in these areas,” said McCarter LaBorde.