MADISON, Wis. – Membership in credit unions around the world continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing, the 2002 Statistical Report from World Council of Credit Unions shows. According to WOCCU, credit union membership worldwide increased 5.34%, from 112 million to more than 118 million members. There are currently 40,258 credit unions in 79 countries throughout the world, said WOCCU. Internationally, credit union members saved more than $US 589 billion with their credit unions. In addition, credit unions savings worldwide increased 11%, continuing a trend of an annual growth rate for savings in excess of 10% for the last five years. In contrast, the worldwide CU loan portfolio of nearly $US 425 billion was a less than 8% increase. WOCCU President/CEO Arthur Arnold encouraged credit unions to increase their outreach efforts to potential members. "Closing the widening gap between the `have more' and the `have less' is only possible by increasing access to affordable financial services," he said.

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