A Short History of Credit Unions in America
"We have members instead of customers."
In 1900, the credit union concept crossed the Atlantic to Levis, Quebec, where Alphonse Desjardins organized La Caisse Populaire de Levis.
A court reporter, Desjardins became aware of the outrageous interest being charged by loan sharks and organized the credit union to provide relief to the working class.
In 1909, Desjardins helped a group of Franco-American Catholics in Manchester, New Hampshire organize St. Mary's Cooperative Credit Association: the first credit union in the United States.
Spurred by the attention of Edward Filene, a merchant and philanthropist, and Pierre Jay, the Massachusetts Banking Commissioner, the Massachusetts Credit Union Act became law on April 15th, 1909.
The Massachusetts law served as a basis for state credit union laws and the Federal Credit Union Act.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act in 1934, forming a national system to charter and supervise federal credit unions.
The Northern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1969 and opened for business in the early 1970s.
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