Report: Credit union priorities, risk concerns vary around the world

Despite year-to-year growth in overall membership and total assets for the global credit union movement, major gaps in key product and service offerings have resulted in different priorities and risk concerns for credit unions in different parts of the world, according to the World Council of Credit Unions’ 2021 Statistical Report

There were a total of 393,871,631 members of 87,914 credit unions worth $3.48 trillion in assets across 118 countries as of December 31, 2021, according to the report. “Despite the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact credit unions across the globe in 2021, they still managed to increase membership by 5% and grow assets by 9%,” said Elissa McCarter LaBorde, WOCCU president/CEO.

Credit unions in Africa and Latin America saw the most substantial growth in terms of membership and assets. Africa saw a 42% spike in assets — the largest worldwide. Latin America witnessed the biggest growth in membership at 16%. Europe was the only region to see a decline in credit union assets, while Australia and New Zealand both saw declining membership. 

In addition to statistics on members, assets, savings and loans, the report also features first-time data sets on credit union:

  • strategic priorities;
  • risk concerns;
  • access to various products and services; and
  • taxation.

The report also provides new data obtained from national credit union associations in more than 40 countries and six regions of the world regarding their top strategic priorities and risk concerns moving forward and the level of access credit unions and their members have to certain products and services that are necessary to strengthen and grow the credit union movement.

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