On 20th of October, The County Roscommon Credit Unions will join 57,000 credit unions from around the world to celebrate International Credit Union Day, an annual event which celebrates the important role and contribution that financial cooperatives play in the local communities in which they serve.
To celebrate this special day, some Credit Unions are having member days and offering refreshments to their members. International Credit Union Day has been celebrated annually since 1948 in October. The international event affords credit unions across Ireland the opportunity to remember credit unions’ proud history and promote awareness of and support for the credit union difference.
This year’s theme, ‘The Authentic Difference’, celebrates what makes credit unions truly different. Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide an effective and viable alternative to for-profit financial institutions for over 217 million members in 105 countries worldwide.
Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions exist to serve their members, providing a great place to save money and access affordable loans. In the local area Ballaghadereen, Boyle, Castlerea and Roscommon Credit Unions serves 26,000 members, who have savings worth €89.1 million in the credit unions combined. In the past year alone our local Credit Unions have provided €14.4 million in loans and overall €22.6 million lent collectively to members between the four Credit Unions within the community and its environs.
Speaking about International Credit Union Day, Bill Golden, Manager at Ballaghaderreen Credit Union said: “It’s a worldwide phenomenon that just keeps on growing, which is a real cause for international celebration!
“Anyone can join a credit union – one of the differences from opening a bank account is that you become a member – and not just a number. This is the credit unions’ mission to put members before profits. All credit unions share a common goal to offer access to affordable financial services to all their members and provide even the most financially disadvantaged the
tools and the opportunities to be financially self-sufficient. This is the credit union difference that makes a real impact.”
Joe Currid, Manager of Boyle Credit Union, concluded by saying: “The County Roscommon Credit Unions are embedded in their local communities.
“It is because of our members that we are able to play a vital role in the financial service needs of our community. We are changing to meet members’ requirements while also remaining loyal to what our members actually need – personal service.
“We have all introduced new EFT services, online access to accounts, and a raft of other services like foreign exchange, but our ethos remains the same and change will not be allowed to compromise what we stand for, or how we serve members’ best interests. We are the Authentic Difference!”