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.
Korean credit unions started the sunshine loan since July 2010. The sunshine policy is a joint brand funded by the central government, financial cooperatives, and mutual savings banks. The sunshine is designed to help 1) the individual whose credit rating ranges from level 6 to level 10, 2) small business owners whose annual income is less than 20 million Korean Won, 3) Owner-operators, wage earners, those who work for agriculture, forestry, and fishery, 4) those who can afford to redeem their debt, thereby not undergoing a work-out program or filing for personal bankruptcy.
Korean credit unions were popular with sunshine loan for 21,962 people were given KRW 207 billions(USD 185 millions) in the credit union as of Oct 2010. This loan policy took the suitable name what it deserved for and alleviated the common people’s suffering from the private loans.
Korean credit unions issued check card(also known as a debit card or a bank card) under the cooperation with other credit card company once before. But now it’s available to issue credit union’s own check card since July 2010.
Check card has a stored value with which a payment is made, while most relay a message to the cardholder's credit union to withdraw funds from a designated account in favor of the payee's designated credit union account. The card can be used as an alternative payment method to cash when making purchases. Unlike credit cards, the funds paid using a debit card are transferred immediately from the bearer's credit union account, instead of having the bearer pay back the money at a later date, which makes the check card users free from the credit delinquent and consumer debt.
In Korea, the credit union movement started in May 1960 by American nun Sister Mary Gabriella. And Korean credit unions had its golden jubilee celebration in Lotte Hotel, September 7, 2011. The vision for the next 100 years was declared saying, ‘Truthful credit union model & genuine financial cooperative leader.’
Prior to the ceremony, ACCU pre-workshops were held in the NACUFOK training center. And the ACCU forum and annual general meeting were followed in Seoul with 300 participants from 27 countries.
During the forum and AGM, from September 7 to 10 in 2010, participants studied and discussed how the Credit Union movement has evolved in Korea, as well as the current development trends in the Asian credit union under the theme ‘Unveiling the 50 years Korean Credit Unions’ Achievement & Innovation.’
Credit unions across the country recorded an aggregate net profit of KRW 337.4 billions(USD 301 millions) as of the end of 2010 to continue from KRW 89.4, 99.5, 131.7 ,153.6, 122.4, 140.5, 90, and 159 billions in 2002 through 2010, respectively, based on its stable profit structure. The aggregate amount of the assets of Credit Unions has increased rapidly to reach 47 trillion won(USD 41.96 billions) by the end of 2010. Asset soundness and profitability have also increased strongly. In 2010, the aggregate asset amount of Credit Unions grew by 20.27%, and net capital ratio by 18.96%.