Two Americans were profoundly influenced by Desjardins' efforts: Pierre Jay, the Massachusetts banking commissioner; and Edward A. Filene, a Boston merchant. In 1908 a conference was held in Boston which included Desjardins, Jay, Filene and other concerned citizens. Working with Desjardins, Jay prepared the legislation for what was to become the first general state credit union act in the United States.
In 1921, Filene decided that the only way to promote the development of credit unions was to seek federal legislation and additional state legislation. He created the Credit Union National Extension Bureau and hired a Massachusetts attorney, Roy F. Bergengren, to help him. Bergengren and the Bureau were charged with developing effective credit union laws in each state and also at the federal level. Filene and Bergengren hoped to create a nationwide association of credit unions to provide leadership and services to existing credit unions, and to organize new credit unions. By 1935, 39 states had credit union laws and 3,372 credit unions were serving 641,800 members.
During the formative years of the credit union movement, credit unions banded together to create associations (league) in each state. In 1934 the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) was formed as a confederation of state associations. During this same year, Congress passed a Federal Credit Union Act which facilitated the organization of federal credit unions across the United States.
Today the credit union movement includes 11,369 credit unions nationwide serving over 77 million members. It is one of the strongest financial networks in the world. Through cooperative efforts, credit unions of all sizes are able to offer their members a broad range of services to meet their financial needs.
IS MY MONEY INSURED AT A CREDIT UNION?
Yes. Savings in all Connecticut credit unions are insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) which is administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an agency of the U.S. Government.