Gene's Note: International Credit Union Day

Each year, I kick off our internal management school with a class on credit union history and philosophy that covers the development of credit unions and Rogue Credit Union’s history. Teaching this class is always a great reminder of how the concept of people joining together to build economic independence got its start. The credit union movement’s story began with a group of weavers in Rochdale, England. This group joined together to create a cooperative society that created a set of principles to guide their work. Under these principles they joined to establish a shop where they could collectively sell their goods. From England to Germany to Canada and the United States, these principles took hold and allowed people to join together to create the first credit unions, and the path towards personal financial independence.   


From the efforts of these early cooperative pioneers, credit unions were created to provide financial services for those that had limited access to basic banking services. Now credit unions have expanded around the world and serve to promote financial independence, under a not-for-profit financial cooperative model.  Each October, we celebrate the pioneering spirit of the cooperative movement and the financial independence a cooperative financial model promotes with International Credit Union Day. This October 18th, we will celebrate the credit union movement across the globe and the role we play in improving the financial well-being of communities.


Credit unions are worth celebrating!  Credit unions are unique and through our financial cooperative model, we create a positive impact worldwide. Through 68,000 credit unions in 109 countries, consumers have access to affordable and reliable financial services. As many of you know, as not-for-profit financial cooperatives, credit unions are owned by YOU! Our purpose and focus is to create financial wellbeing in the communities we serve. 


“People Helping People” is a core philosophy of the credit union movement, and that is what we’re here to do each and every day. At Rogue, you’re more than just an auto loan or a checking account. As a foundation of our cooperative model, our member’s financial wellbeing and investing in the communities we serve are our focus. 


I have been fortunate enough to meet with credit union leaders from Uzbekistan and Guatemala. While the languages are different, the objectives are the same… to create an opportunity for people to have personal financial independence. The leaders from these countries face considerable challenges each day as they work to help others find a better life. We take deposit insurance and regulatory oversight for granted here in the United States, and when you hear stories from financial leaders from other countries it opens your eyes to just how fortunate we are.


This International Credit Union Day, we invite you to stop by your local branch to celebrate the worldwide power of credit unions and the cooperative financial services model. We’ll be celebrating by doing what we do best, giving back to the community – and you can join in! Ask a Rogue team member for a token and drop it in the donation box of your choice. For every token, Rogue will donate $0.25. Last year, we donated over $340 through this effort, which wouldn’t have been possible without the support from you, our loyal member-owners!


Thank you for the trust you place in your credit union each day and through that trust, we are able to help others find the financial security and independence that you enjoy by being part of the credit union movement!