1934, the Year Credit Unions Got Presidential Support

It was in 1934 that President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act, greatly broadening consumers’ options for managing their finances, the U.S. Census Bureau reminds us.

Credit unions differ from banks by being member-owned and controlled. Credit unions are nonprofit institutions where groups of people can save, borrow and obtain other financial services.

The first U.S. credit union – St Mary’s Bank of Manchester, New Hampshire, opened in 1908. However, the Federal Credit Union Act established the federal credit union system and created the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions, (which was the predecessor to the National Credit Union Administration).

With this act, the credit union movement was given a huge boost nationwide.

Today, around 7,700 U.S. credit unions serve more than 100 million members. These establishments range from a small cooperative for a single church or factory, to those that serve giant corporations.

By contrast, there are more than 93,000 commercial banking establishments in America’s $3.6 trillion finance and insurance sector of the economy.

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