Credit Unions

Credit unions are small, not-for-profit, cooperative (mutual) financial institutions operated as a means of providing financial services, primarily banking (savings and loans), insurance, and, sometimes, financial advisory services to their members. In many respects, credit unions offer retail banking services similar to those provided by many other deposit-taking financial institutions, such as commercial banks, building societies, and friendly societies. However, their size, the range of services offered, and, especially, their governance differ substantially. As of 2012, there were 55,952 credit unions operating in 101 countries around the world, with some 201 million members and total assets in excess of $1,693 billion. Countries with relatively large, established credit union sectors (number of institutions; total assets) include Australia (103; $90.0 billion), the United States (6,960; $1,034.9 billion), ...

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