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Celebrating Nearly a Century of People Before Profit in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Credit Union Movement Has Fueled the State’s Economy and Saved Members Billions

Oct 16, 2019
By Brett Thompson, President & CEO
  • The CU Difference
  • Press

With International Credit Union Day this October 17, there is much to celebrate about the lasting and positive impact of the nearly-century-old credit union movement in Wisconsin.

As not-for-profit cooperative entities owned by their members instead of shareholders, credit unions have long been the best financial partner of Wisconsin families.

In 2018 alone, our 3.3 million members saved a quarter of a billion dollars statewide in reduced loan rates, interest rates, and banking fees, and earned $10 million in the form of dividends. “People Before Profit”—a rallying cry of the movement—makes this possible. 

The roots of this movement run deep, too, with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), CUNA Mutual Group, and the World Council of Credit Unions all headquartered in Wisconsin. Over 120 credit unions across the state contribute significantly to the economy, with more than $35 billion in deposits, $33.3 billion in loans, and nearly 10,000 employed. 

But “People Before Profit” is not only measured by the billions members have saved; it is also measured by the numerous ways credit unions serve the underserved. Whether it’s helping a member escape predatory lending, rebuild credit, weather an illness, save for a home, or simply be given a second chance, Wisconsin’s credit unions are uniquely equipped to provide a lifeline when other financial institutions can’t or won’t.

And this commitment to community extends far beyond the confines of membership, with credit unions regularly supporting local financial education initiatives and donating funds or labor to charitable causes, disaster relief, and more. 

On International Credit Union Day and every day, we’re proud to be a part of this history, a part of your community, and a part of a global movement of 56,000 credit unions serving over 200 million members, united in helping people take control of their financial future.

About The Author

Brett Thompson is President & CEO of The Wisconsin Credit Union League.