This report describes the credit union movement from it's origins to the present day.
It analyses the unique philosophy of credit unions, their organisational structure, legislation, customer opinion and financial performance. The report concentrates on the comparisons and differences between credit unions and their main competitors - Banks and Building Societies. It shows where credit unions can excel and where improvement is needed. The report conclude that the credit union movement is of enormous value to many people who are not well served by banks and building societies, not to mention money lenders. In helping the less well-off to learn the saving habit and become good money managers, credit unions are performing a most important social role not just for their customers, but for the community as a whole. Finally the report touches on future issues for the movement as it becomes a major force in the financial sector. It's very success may tend to force it away from it's voluntary self-help roots.