International Credit Union Day Celebrates The Authentic Difference

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On October 20, 2016, credit unions around the world will celebrate International Credit Union Day (ICU Day).

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, offering the same services as other financial institutions, but with a people-first philosophy. Since 1948, on the third Thursday of every October, credit unions have celebrated the principles that make credit unions the best financial partners of people all over the world.  “The authentic difference,” this year’s ICU Day theme, zeroes in on what makes credit unions different from banks, fintech startups and other financial institutions—our principles. 

Credit unions all over the world have operated according to the same core principles since the 1850s, when a group of weary German workers, tired of being exploited by loan sharks, formed the world’s first credit union by banding together to provide affordable credit to each other.

These principles are derived from the 7 cooperative principles, shared by all cooperatives. They are:  

  1. Democratic Control

One member = One vote. Whether you have $5 or $5 million, your voice is equal.

  1. Open and Voluntary Membership

Members are connected by a bond of association, fostering a sense of community.

  1. Non-Discrimination

Credit unions are open to all without regard for race, orientation, nationality, sex, religion, gender, or politics.

  1. Service to Members

Credit unions are ranked No. 1 in service in numerous surveys, because they exist to serve members, not profit.

  1. Distribution to Members

Credit unions return all profits to their members through dividends, lower fees, better savings rates, and improved services.

  1. Building Financial Stability

Credit unions are historically stable organizations. They’re owned by the people they serve, so they don’t take unnecessary risks.

  1. Cooperation Among Cooperatives

Credit unions and cooperatives share the same principles. Together, they amplify each other’s good works.

  1. Social Responsibility

Credit unions strive for social justice by committing to strengthening their communities and helping people of modest means.

  1. Ongoing Education

Credit unions prioritize financial education for their members, employees, and communities as part of their pursuit of social justice.

This is why we celebrate ICU Day at Hanscom Federal Credit Union. We think ideas like people before profit, social responsibility, and financial education improve lives. It’s why cooperative banking is a key component of helping people in developing countries get access to microloans, or a middle-class couple in Massachusetts receive an affordable mortgage for their first home. 

So when we wish you a Happy ICU Day at Hanscom Federal Credit Union, know that we’re thanking you for belonging to a movement that’s helping your neighbors—and people around the world—grow and thrive and follow their dreams.

Join us in any of our branches on October 20, 2016, for refreshments and a chance for us to thank you for being part of Hanscom Federal Credit Union.

 

Copyright 2016 Credit Union National Association Inc.

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Hanscom Federal Credit Union
Hanscom Federal Credit Union

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