Credit Unions: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview

Donal McKillop, John O.S. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


In 2009 there were over 49,330 credit unions across 98 countries with more than 184 million members and approximately $1,354 billion in assets. There is a great diversity within the credit union movement across these countries. This reflects the various economic, historic and cultural contexts within which credit unions operate. This paper traces the evolution of the credit union movement. It examines credit union objectives, and considers issues relating to efficiency, technology adoption, product diversification, merger, failure and demutualization. The regulatory environment within which credit unions operate is also explored under the themes of interest rate regulation, common bond requirements, taxation, deposit insurance and capital regulation. The overview also considers demutualization and the costs and benefits to credit unions of altering their organizational form.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-123
Number of pages44
JournalFinancial Markets, Institutions and Instruments
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Finance

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