Matz: International Credit Union Day a reminder of global opportunities, threats

ALEXANDRIA, VA (October 16, 2014) – National Credit Union Administration Board Chairman Debbie Matz said the 67th International Credit Union Day is a reminder that the financial services marketplace has become a global network, presenting opportunities but also challenges in terms of protecting credit unions and their members.

“The theme of this year’s International Credit Union Day is ‘Local Service, Global Good,’ and credit unions certainly exemplify the model of community institutions with a world-wide reach,” Matz said. “But the theme is also a reminder about the cybersecurity risks we all now face.

“Financial transactions now take place in milliseconds, from laptops and smart phones, across continents and oceans. This convenience provides credit union members with greater access to financial services, but it also means they are vulnerable to criminals on the other side of the world, who can hack into accounts and steal money or information just as quickly. So, credit unions must be vigilant every minute, every hour, and every day of the year.”

Matz encouraged credit unions to take advantage of the cybersecurity resources offered by NCUA, available online here.

In 1948, when the first International Credit Union Day was observed, there were just over 9,000 credit unions in the United States with 3.7 million members and total assets of about $700 million. Today, there are more than 6,400 federally insured credit unions in the United States with over 98 million members and assets of more than $1.1 trillion.

“The American credit union system is marked by growth, service and stability,” Matz said. “It’s changing with the times and finding new ways to provide affordable financial services while still keeping true to the original ideal of non-profit member ownership.”

International Credit Union Day is a day to reflect upon the credit union movement’s history and to promote its achievements. The ultimate goals are to raise awareness about the work that credit unions are doing around the world and to give members opportunities for greater involvement. More information about International Credit Union Day is available online here.

NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than 98 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. At and Pocket Cents, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues.

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