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Credit Union Movement Receives Cooperative Awards

15 August 2014

Credit Union Movement Receives Cooperative Awards

New Zealand Association of Credit Unions (NZACU), the industry body that represents 22 cooperatively owned credit unions and mutual building societies throughout New Zealand, was recognised last night by Cooperative Business New Zealand at its inaugural Annual Service Awards event.

Held at the Novotel Ellerslie, Auckland, the awards dinner saw NZACU recognised for its 53 years’ service as a member owned cooperative, along with a number of other significant cooperative organisations.

“Cooperative businesses are very important contributors to the New Zealand economy, and we’re delighted to be recognised alongside such a prestigious collection of organisations with this award” said Henry Lynch, CEO of NZACU.

“Our Member credit unions and building societies serve over 200,000 New Zealanders and are worth over $1.3b in assets – that’s significant in itself” said Mr Lynch. “And when you look at the huge range of the other organisations that were recognised in the awards - from Interflora to Foodstuffs to Farmlands Co-op Society - you realise the significance of cooperative businesses model to the New Zealand economy”.

NZACU's Members employ over 550 staff, in more than 90 branches throughout the country, and collectively are the sixth largest financial transactor by volume in New Zealand.

One of those Member credit unions, NZCU Baywide, was also recognised at the awards dinner, for 43 years as a financial services cooperative serving the Hawke’s Bay and lower North Island.

“The cooperative business model is one that has stood the test of time, as can be seen by the wide range of long serving and thriving organisations represented at the awards ceremony” said NZCU Baywide Chief Executive, Gavin Earle. “It’s also a model that is perfectly poised to grow exponentially with the groundswell of modern social consciousness.”

Mr Lynch agreed, adding “Being cooperatively owned by New Zealanders also means that profits stay in the local economy, which is really important in the current financial climate.”

Independently owned and operated by their members for their members, credit unions and mutual building societies provide a wide range of financial services, like savings accounts, loans and insurance, and any profits are returned to the members in a combination of ways, such as fairer fees and interest rates with community involvement.

New Zealand Association of Credit Unions (NZACU):
Credit unions and mutual building societies are co-operatively owned financial service providers, providing their members with a similar range of services to a bank. Credit unions and building societies are all independently owned and operated by their members for their members, and any profits are returned to the members in a combination of ways i.e. fairer fees, interest rates and community involvement.

NZACU is the industry association for credit unions and building societies ( and exists to represent, promote and support its 22 Member credit unions and building societies, providing cost-effective business services.

NZACU's members employ over 550 staff, represent 200,000+ members, with more than 90 branches, assets of over $1.3 billion and collectively are the sixth largest financial transactor by volume in New Zealand. NZACU also wholly own Credit Union Insurance Ltd (, a fully licensed insurance provider, under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010, with over 67,000 lives covered.

The NZACU is a member of global trade association WOCCU, the World Council of Credit Unions, which represents over 208 million people in 103 countries across the globe. This international network operates under the vision: “Improving people's lives through credit unions” and promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial co-operatives around the world.

The NZACU is also a member of Cooperative Business New Zealand (, the industry body whose mission is “bringing together the country’s cooperative and mutual businesses to promote, encourage and support the co-operative and mutual business model, and act as the advocate for those engaged in co-operatives and mutuals.”

Collectively the mutual banking sector, including mutual banks, building societies and credit unions, represent more than $600 million in revenue per year with a number of these organisations among Cooperative Business New Zealand’s “Top 40” co-operative and mutual businesses (by revenue) and NZACU is ranked at number 28.


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