In just one week, credit unions around the world celebrate International Credit Union Day (ICU Day).
It’s a great day to remember the benefits of credit unions like Liberty Savings. First, all credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, offering the same services as other financial institutions, but with a people-first philosophy. Since 1948 credit unions have celebrated this philosophy on the third Thursday in October. “The Authentic Difference” is this year’s ICU Day theme, zeroing 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:
One member = One vote. Whether you have $5 or $5 million, your voice is equal.
Open and Voluntary Membership
Members are connected by a bond of association, fostering a sense of community.
Credit unions are open to all without regard for race, orientation, nationality, sex, religion, gender, or politics.
Service to Members
Credit unions are ranked No. 1 in service in numerous surveys, because they exist to serve members, not profit.
Distribution to Members
Credit unions return all profits to their members through dividends, lower fees, better savings rates, and improved services.
Building Financial Stability
Credit unions are historically stable organizations. They’re owned by the people they serve, so they don’t take unnecessary risks.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Credit unions and cooperatives share the same principles. Together, they amplify each other’s good works.
Credit unions strive for social justice by committing to strengthening their communities and helping people of modest means.
Credit unions prioritize financial education for their members, employees, and communities as part of their pursuit of social justice.
These principles are why we celebrate ICU Day at Liberty Savings. We think ideas like people before profit, social responsibility, and financial education improve lives. It’s why cooperative banking is a key component of how we help people in Hudson County.
So when we wish you a Happy ICU Day from Liberty Savings, know that we’re thanking you for belonging to a movement that’s helping your neighbors grow and thrive and follow their dreams.
Join us in sharing The Authentic Difference by posting photos or thoughts with us using #CUDifference and #ICUDay on October 20th, or any day this month! We’re excited to celebrate with you.