Copyright 2021 PACE Credit Union

International Credit Union Day

We are proud to have members like you. For International Credit Union Day, we want to celebrate our members' stories and build community among our membership. Share your favourite PACE  story this October! 

Interesting Facts About Credit Unions!

Credit unions have become know as a community-focused, socially responsible option for financial services, but they have evolved since their early days and you may not know some of the interesting things about them.

How to Participate?

Online Entry: Month of October

In-branch Entry: October 18th - 21st 

Selected stories will be shared with the PACE membership. 


Credit Union Milestone Timeline in North America

Did you know?

1900 – Alphonse Desjardins launches the first Canadian co-operative bank (or caisse populaire) in Quebec, after overhearing the story of a man forced to pay $5,000 in interest on a $150 loan he'd taken out to save his family from starvation, and deciding to take action.

1930s – The credit union movement gained momentum in Canada, with credit unions opening in Nova Scotia (1932), New Brunswick (1936), Prince Edward Island (1936) and Manitoba (1937).

1940s – The first all-Canadian Credit Union convention is held (1943) and in the U.S, as part of the war effort during World War II, credit unions sell 12 million war bonds with a purchase price of $404 million — that equals more than $5.7 billion in 2018 dollars.

1950s – The first credit union chequing accounts are implemented. In 1958 Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation (DOSCO) becomes the first Canadian credit union to reach the $1 million mark in assets. In the U.S. by 1952, the number of federal credit unions grew to nearly 6,000 with more than 2.8 million members.

1960s – Credit unions were first to lend to women under their own names without a male co-signer (1961). The familiar “Hands and Globe” logo is introduced (1966) as the new credit union symbol. Under a special act of Canadian Parliament, Nova Scotia credit unions and Central (then known as League) incorporated League Savings and Mortgage Company to provide mortgages for customer-owners (1968). In the U.S., by the end of 1960, there were 9,905 federal credit unions with 6.1 million members and $2.7 billion in assets.

1970s to 1990s - Credit unions led the introduction of ATMs in Nova Scotia (1994). The U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Federal Credit Union Act (1984).

Present – As of 2019, Canada’s 239 credit unions serve more than 5.8 million members, contribute over $6.5 billion to Canada’s GDP, operate from more than 1,700 locations (in many Canadian communities, credit unions are the ONLY bricks-and-mortar financial institutions), and employ in excess of 58,000 Canadians directly and indirectly. Most importantly, Canada’s credit unions remain committed to the seven international co-operative principles that have guided credit unions since inception:

  • Voluntary & Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training & Information
  • Cooperation among Cooperatives
  • Concern for Community
  • The first credit union in the world started in Germany in the 1850s.
  • The first Canadian credit union originated because M. Desjardins overheard the story of a man forced to pay $5,000 in interest on a $150 loan he'd taken out to save his family from starvation, and decided to take action.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 Canadians is a member of a credit union.
  • Together, credit unions and caisses populaires are responsible for 21.2% of lending to small and medium-sized businesses – a share as large as any of the big banks.
  • Credit unions were first to allow women to take out loans in their own names without a man to co-sign. That was in 1961.
  • In 2019, Credit Unions ranked first in customer service.
  • 28% of credit union CEOs are women, leading Canada’s financial services in gender parity.