In celebration of the UN International Year of Cooperatives in 2012, the Nanjang Hanmadang Festival for Cooperatives was held for three days, from July 6 to July 8, in Seoul. The event, drawing over 1,000 participants, sought to promote the various cooperatives activities in Korea and enhance the public’s understanding of the roles of cooperatives. Among the visitors were Chairman & President Zhang, Tae-jong of the National Credit Union Federation of Korea, Minister Park Jae-wan of the Ministry of Finance and Strategy, and Seoul Mayor Park Won-sun. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a video address, commenting on how cooperatives worldwide have helped to create jobs for women and other vulnerable groups and have served as alternative financial institutions during the worldwide financial crisis. He also expressed an expectation that cooperatives will continue to make the world a better place for the sake of the dignity of humankind and international solidarity. The Korean Society for Cooperatives, made up of six leading cooperatives, including the Credit Union, set up a special booth to better educate people about cooperatives and what they do. The Credit Union also actively participated in the event by distributing leaflets, the pink piggy banks featured in the TV commercial, and fans.
In 2012, Korean Credit Unions nationwide spent KRW 56.7 billion on welfare and social contribution projects. This amount is almost 1.5 times as much as the KRW 35.6 billion spent on similar causes in 2011. Most importantly, Korean CUs have spent KRW 20.4 billion on directly helping and improving the living conditions of the needy. This amounts to 11.7% of KRW 173.1 billion, net income for 2012. Credit unions nationwide are increasingly expanding and diversifying the range of social contributions we make to local communities. Since Korean CUs launched the Dusonmoa Volunteers Group in 2011, comprised of volunteering employees and executives, a total of 12,200 volunteers have devoted 56,524 hours to serving the needs of our local communities. The various social projects that Korean credit unions implement serve to improve the quality of life for members and locals, and contribute to the cause of making local communities richer and happier for all. The Credit Union will continue to increase efforts to provide a wide range of assistance that meets actual needs and betters Korean society.
The Socially Responsible Management Awards for Mutual Growth, held in 2012, and hosted by JTBC and co-sponsored by the Joongang Newspaper Co., the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, and the National Commission for Corporate Partnership, chose the Credit Union as one of the exemplary companies practicing socially responsible management. At the awards ceremony, held at Namsan Millennium Hilton Hotel in Seoul on September 27, Chairman & President of NACUFOK Zhang, Tae-jong received the honor on behalf of all credit unions nationwide. In a video address commenting on his experience at the awards ceremony, Chairman & President Zhang said, “The Credit Union is playing a major role in the revitalization of local economies in Korea by becoming a reliable financial partner for regular people and ensuring a virtuous cycle in the circulation of the funds and incomes generated by the organization. The diverse social projects and activities of credit unions nationwide enhance the quality of life for members and locals and make Korea a better place for all. Through its various social projects, the Credit Union will continue to strive to enrich and improve everyone’s life.” The honors the Credit Union received at the event reflect the hard work of credit unions nationwide to broaden and enhance various forms of support for the welfare and culture of local communities and meet actual needs. The award will not only strengthen the Credit Union’s resolve to maintain socially responsible management, but also raise the organization’s public image.
On August 22, NACUFOK invited one hundred university students to the main office for a day of discovery and exploration of the Credit Union. The day event was organized to improve university students’ understanding of the Credit Union’s work, to familiarize them better with the organization, and also to help them plan their future careers. The one hundred students chosen were also promised preferential treatment in the document review part of the hiring process, should they apply for jobs at the Credit Union in the future. The event consisted of multiple activities, including: visiting NACUFOK's headquarter and hearing about the Credit Union's mission, history, and current status; dropping by the Credit Union Training Center, and participating in a quiz contest testing students’ knowledge of the organization; visiting Cheonan Joongang Credit Union, Cheongju Sangdang Credit Union, and Yesan Joongbu Credit Union. Through these activities, they can take a look at the Credit Union's actual financial work as well as the diverse programs and benefits that CUs provide for members, including culture clubs, weekend farms, and other projects; and stopping by local markets and shopping malls to promote the Credit Union and get hands-on experience with the house call payment collection service that the credit union provides.
The award-winning research report submissions of the Credit Union Public Contest for Research Writing were disclosed to the public at a ceremony at the main office of NACUFOK. The submissions had been selected during the public writing contest that the Credit Union organized, in 2012, in celebration of the UN International Year of Cooperatives and the enactment of the Framework Act for Cooperatives in Korea. A panel of experts, including university professors, reviewed the submissions and selected nine of them as first round winners. Of these, five research reports were chosen for awards, including one entitled “A Study for Effective Enhancement of the Market Competitiveness of the Credit Union: Priorities in Consumer Choices and Their Repositioning.” NACUFOK will continue to foster researchers’ interest in the Credit Union and our activities by providing financial aid for doctoral candidates, providing essential data for research, and encouraging research collaboration.