Overview of ILCU Foundation Support:

The ILCU Foundation has been providing support to the Russian credit union movement since the mid-1990. The ILCU Foundation now channels its support through The Gardarika Association of Credit Unions of the North - West. The support provided to ‘Gardarika’ comes in the form of international study visits and knowledge sharing initiatives in Ireland.

The ILCU Foundation ceased to provide direct financial support to the Russian movement once it had grown to a point of self-sustainability. The credit union movement in Russia is currently complying with new regulations which have led to the consolidation of the movement and the liquidation, in some cases, of credit unions which did not comply with such regulations. However, this has led to greater collaboration with the Russian Central Bank thus allowing credit unions to lobby for new legislation more effectively.

Russian Study tour group photo

Key Activities and Progress in 2015:

Major Representation and Co-operation Activities:

  • Alliance building with other credit union movements i.e. Serbian Credit Unions, Brazilian Credit Unions and the Far East Credit Union Association
  • Representing ‘Gardarika’ at Russian Central Bank Expert Council, Russian Credit Union League and Far East Credit Union Association

Increased Marketing/PR Activities:

  • Developing websites, social media platforms, email marketing campaigns
  • Implementation of community engagement programmes, ‘Veterans Day’, ‘ My Favourite Teacher Competition’ and ‘Town Day’

Training Activities:

  • Study Tour of Russian credit unions to Ireland
  • Karelian Coast Convention - providing training and networking
  • 364 staff and volunteers undertook training seminars throughout 2015

At a glance

Population: 142.8 million

No. of credit unions: 11

No. of members: 22,361

% living on < €1 a day: 0%

Life expectancy: 70 yrs.

Types of loans issued: Home Improvment, medical and dental, education, funeral, car and pay-day loans