Why Credit unions?

Credit unions worldwide offer members from all walks of life much-needed financial services and much more.

What is a credit union?
A credit union is a customer/member owned financial cooperative, democratically controlled by its members, and operated for the purpose of maximizing the economic benefit of its members by providing financial services at competitive and fair rates. Credit unions usually encourage savings and offer competitive rates for loans. Credit unions typically have a membership base that unites its members such as having the same occupation or employer, belonging to the same association, or religious group, or living in the same community. The board of directors of the credit union is typically elected by the members.

In Curacao the first credit union was formed in 1958 with the help of the late Mgr. Dr. Amado Römer. This paved the way for the widespread development of credit unions in Curacao. The number of credit unions grew rapidly but declined after some decades. Nowadays there are 7 credit unions on the island.

Financial inclusion
Access to affordable, reliable and self-sustainable financial services improves lives on many different levels.

Benefits globally
68,000 credit unions in 109 countries improve the lives and communities of 235,000,000 members.

The Credit Union structure

Learn how we differ from banks and other financial institutions.

Clientele

Members share a common community, occupation or place of work.  Service to the working poor is blended with service to a broader spectrum of the population, which allows a credit union to offer competitive rates and fees.


Governance

Credit union members elect a board of directors from their membership.  Members each have one vote in board elections, regardless of their amount of savings or shares in the credit union.


Earnings

Net income is applied first to adequacy requirements.  Member owned capital structure, compared to stockholder capital, allows the credit union to manage surplus to lower interest rates on loans, higher interest on savings or new product and service development.