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President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934 (on June 26, 1934).
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934 (on June 26, 1934).

Celebrate Our 90th Anniversary of the Federal Credit Union Act

In the 90 years since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934, credit unions across the nation have made a significant impact on the financial services sector and their communities. This year on June 26, local credit unions, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, and our national system of affiliates can celebrate this unique milestone!

The Federal Credit Union Act laid the groundwork for an unparalleled era of financial empowerment. It enabled credit unions to be organized under charters approved by the federal government. While the landscape of consumer transactions has evolved with technology, the enduring essence of credit unions — their unique structure, unwavering mission, and steadfast philosophy — has steadfastly endured, anchoring them as pillars of stability within the financial services domain.

During the rest of 2024, state credit union leagues/associations — brought together by the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) — can collectively promote the great work of credit unions (beginning in April with National Credit Union Youth Month). Additional notable celebrations include Elder Abuse Prevention Month (June), I Love My Credit Union Day (July 26), and International Credit Union Day (October 17). Materials are available here and include:

This key milestone is a reason for credit unions to celebrate! The legislation made it possible for credit unions to organize under state or federal charters and created the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions, the first government agency to oversee credit unions. The organization later became the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

The act was spurred into law by a grassroots movement in America working to spread the idea of cooperative credit. In the decades after the act was signed, credit unions grew rapidly, even during tough economic times. A 1964 Social Security Administration report shared that in 1934, there were 39 credit unions in the U.S. serving 3,200 Americans; by 1964, there were 11,200 credit unions with 7.7 million members.

Today, more than 140 million Americans belong to a credit union and benefit from being part owners in an independent financial cooperative. Please feel free to spread awareness about how credit unions help people and communities prosper!

“The state-league structure stands as a reflection of credit unions,” said Brad Miller, president of AACUL, which brings together credit union advocates and leverages the collective power of state leagues/associations to create advocacy wins. “Through embracing a member-centric spirit and fostering collaborative endeavors, state leagues and associations secure advocacy wins and nurture a robust network of peer support. This celebration of the Federal Credit Union Act is a phenomenal example of the ways that state leagues and associations embody and reflect the cooperative principles established and fulfilled by local credit unions.”

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