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SYDNEY, Australia -Australian credit unions have a new tool to measure their social, environmental and economic impact developed by the Credit Union Foundation of Australia. CUFA is the nonprofit development agency for the Australian credit union movement. Although they already pay taxes, credit unions need to maintain their positioning as the only deposit taking institutions to offer a “different kind of banking,” their signature slogan. The difference is their commitment to community development on all levels rather than profits, and the toolkit will be especially helpful to small and medium size credit unions, CUFA feels. The new toolkit was officially launched at a meeting with over 100 credit union chairmen and CEOs present by Member of Parliament The Honorable Bruce Baird to highlight the importance of credit union’s CSR. Credit unions “were established as co-operatives to benefit their members and communities,” Peter Mason, CUFA Executive Officer, said. “Credit unions are not driven solely by profit motives like most corporations, but are dedicated to returning benefits to members through fairer fees and contributions to their local communities.” There are 151 credit unions across Australia. With assets of over $32 million, they are the seventh largest deposit-taking force in Australia more than three million members. Examples of credit union commitment to CSR which will be measured by the new toolkit include: community grants, providing services to areas too isolated or too poor to have banking facilities, working with aboriginal peoples, donating to national and international development programs, supporting green projects, providing microcredit for the development of business, and creating greater financial literacy at all social levels. – [email protected]

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