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There is one day each year that everybody loves. For some it’s the first hockey game of the season; for others it’s the beginning of spring; it could be the first snowfall or even those momentous summer thunder storms – for us, it’s the third Thursday in October…International Credit Union Day.
You may ask yourself, what is so special about International Credit Union Day? Besides the fact that we are party animals, we also have a great history within our communities, our province and on an international level as well. Credit Unions are part of the cooperative movement – we all follow cooperative principles – and this is the one day where we can come together, internationally, to celebrate the greatness we have achieved.
This year the theme for International Credit Union Day is: ‘Local Service. Global Good’. Here are some juicy tidbits of information about the local service your credit union is committed to, as well as the global good it is enhancing:
- 208,000,000 members worldwide,
- 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries,
- $37,167,111 donated and 37,268 hours volunteered since 2012 in BC and Ontario,
- In 2013, Integris staff volunteered 4,539 hours of their free time to help out with community events, fundraisers and more (this doesn’t include the paid volunteering that also took place),
- 43 independent credit unions in BC with 371 branches and 565 Ding-Free ATM’s,
- Credit unions have been serving BC since 1939.
- BC credit unions serve 42% of the provincial population with more than 1.9 million members,
- As of August 22, 2014, BC credit unions hold over $60.5 billion in assets,
- There are approximately 8,376 British Columbians employed by BC credit unions,
- Credit unions have had many historical firsts in the banking movement such as being the first Financial Institution to:
- Lend to women in their own names,
- Offer personal loans based on a borrower’s character,
- Offer daily interest savings accounts, open and variable mortgages, personal lines of credit, and home equity lines of credit (HELOC),
- Create an online banking platform,
- Imagine never having a debit card – credit unions were the first to offer a debit card and a point-of-sale debit payment service.
- Since 2005, Integris has donated over $1.5 million to enhance and strengthen each of our five communities,
- We have sent our staff to Ghana and Mongolia to interact with international credit unions – assisting with training and policy development.
Credit unions take care of each other, our communities, and our members through “cooperative interdependence, a community first mentality, and a volunteer management structure” (WCCU. A History of ICU Day, 2014). How will you celebrate International Credit Union Day?
|Written by Cori Ramsay, BA – Communications Officer|