International Credit Union Day is coming up and we are so excited! This year, it’s the 70th anniversary, which means everything is platinum-themed. SunWest will be having giveaways on our social media next week leading up to the big day, then a grand prize giveaway for those who visit one of our branches on October 18. But what is so special about credit unions that they were able to get their own day dedicated to them – all around the world?
Credit unions as we know them began in Germany in the 1850s. They were based on cooperative principles, such as self-help, democracy, and equality. Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch was so passionate about his credit union projects that they popped up wherever he went. By 1912, the people’s banks he founded in Germany had 641,000 members!
Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen built on Hermann’s approach but aimed to help more rural areas. This established some more conventions that we still follow today, such as people volunteering to serve on the board of directors to save the smaller communities money. Thanks to many rural communities joining the credit union movement, they were able to prove wrong those who believed that poor people were unlikely to pay back loans and no bank would be able to profit from poor Germans.
It’s pretty easy to see why the idea of credit unions caught on! We still highly value our communities and believe in openness and social responsibility. If you have any ideas on how we can better serve you as our members, or help the communities you live in, leave us a comment here or message us on social media. We would also love to hear your story about how credit unions have made a difference in your life.
As Lisa on Facebook said, “I have been with SunWest Federal Credit Union for over 30 years. You have proven I can trust you as banks have not. You have always been fair, not perfect but fair. Everyone is always so pleasant, fun and helpful. I created accounts for my two kids years ago, my dad has had an account there as well. It feels like family.#platinumliningfound”. That’s what we love to hear, thank you Lisa!