Ninety Years of the Federal Credit Union Act

Our industry just commemorated a special milestone—the National Credit Union Act turned 90!

On June 26, 1934, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the National Credit Union Act into law. This legislation made it possible for credit unions to organize under state or federal charter and created the Bureau of Federal Credit Unions, the first government agency to oversee credit unions. The organization later became the National Credit Union Administration.

The Act was spurred into law by a grassroots movement in America working to spread the idea of cooperative credit. In the decades after the law was signed, credit unions grew rapidly, even during tough economic times. A 1964 Social Security Administration report shared that in 1934, there were 39 credit unions in the U.S. serving 3,200 Americans; by 1964, there were 11,200 credit unions with 7.7 million members. Today, more than 140 million Americans—including over 741,000 in Maine—belong to a credit union and benefit from being a part of the People Helping People movement.

Continuing to honor the 90th anniversary of the signing of the National Credit Union Act is a great way to honor and celebrate the legacy and heritage of credit unions. By reflecting on the principles and values that have guided credit unions for nearly a century, it will help carry our industry forward into the future.