World Council of Credit Union's (WOCCU) international
performance standards and technical assistance
programs help credit unions around the world
to provide microfinance services to low-income
members. The microfinance client advantage through
credit unions includes access to small scale
savings services, full service array of loan
products and low cost transaction services. What
most distinguishes credit unions from other non-bank
financial entities involved in microfinance is
the ability of credit unions to mobilize mass
numbers of small, voluntary, savings accounts.
These deposits can then be invested in rural
production, housing, microenterprise and small
business loans. In this manner, credit unions
can reach a large absolute number of the poor
on a sustainable basis.
"The Year of Microfinance is about helping
low income people climb a ladder of modest but increasing
income and assets. People need access to a variety
of different financial services through their lifetime.
Credit unions are local savings based sustainable
community institutions. Credit unions serve large
numbers of small and poor savers as well as small
borrowers who need funds for micro-enterprise, housing
--Brian Branch, CEO, World Council of Credit Unions,
World Council of Credit Unions, Inc.
5710 Mineral Point Rd.,
Madison, WI 53705-4493 http://www.woccu.org/