This page uses JavaScript. Your browser either does not support JavaScript or you have it turned off. To see this page properly please use a JavaScript enabled browser.
Home > Credit Union Philosophy > Beyond 1934-1998

Credit Unions … A Quick History Lesson

Beyond 1934 to 1998

National recognition and organization allowed for a surge in the formation of new credit unions. Between 1936 and 1941 the number of credit unions nearly doubled, increasing to almost 10,000. World War II, however, brought a halt to growth, and government anti-inflationary regulations resulted in the liquidation of many small credit unions. On balance, the war hurt the movement more than the Great Depression had.

Post-war prosperity created a second surge of credit union growth. The number of credit unions rose to 23,000 with 19 million members by 1967.

In 1970, federal legislation created the National Credit Union Administration, which is the independent supervisory agency for all federal credit unions, and established the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, providing federal deposit insurance for credit union depositors.  This fund propelled tremendous share growth within the movement. Various federal laws passed in the 1970s allowed credit unions to offer more services, including share certificates, share draft accounts, 30-year home mortgages, credit cards, and other forms of electronic funds transfers.

Like in every other industry, the 1980s was an era of deregulation and consolidation. Though deregulation allowed credit unions to offer more services to their members, it also placed a lot of pressure on smaller credit unions. Many couldn’t afford to offer the variety of services now permitted, and many merged.

This is a trend that has continued. But, it is important to note that while the number of credit unions is declining, more and more members are enjoying the benefits of ownership.

For more information about other periods of credit union history, click on the links below

About Us

Network Governance
Full Staff Listing
Credit Union Chapters

Contact Us

Credit Union Jobs


CU PolicyPro
Fraud Resource Center
Compliance Training Tools


Advocacy &
Government Relations

     National Programs
     State Programs

Government Relations
     Montana Government
     Federal Government Affairs

Political Action

Field of Membership Expansion

Community Development 


Conferences and Trainings
Distance Learning
Financial Literacy for Volunteers


League Service Group

Directly Provided Services
Group Benefit Trust

Communications & PR

Credit Unions in the News
President's Report
Photo Galleries
Network News
News Archive

Credit Union Directors

The Director's Job
Volunteer Recognition
Helpful Resources
The Blog "A Direct Line"


Find a Credit Union Near You
ip of the Week
Topic of the Month
Reciprocal Check Cashing

Montana's Credit Unions

Credit Unions in the News
Credit Unions for Kids
Credit Union Philosophy