MADISON, Wis.-Some 196 million people around the globe now belong to credit unions, according to new data for year-end 2011.

The World Council of Credit Unions' 2011 Statistical Report, which is based on data from 100 countries, found that CU membership grew 4.3% from the 188 million members reported in 2010, even as the number of CUs internationally declined to 31,103 from 52,945. Other year-end 2011 worldwide CU data: CU loans increased to $1 trillion in 2011 from $960 billion in 2010; Reserves jumped to $141.3 billion from $131.7 billion; total assets grew to $1.6 trillion from $1.5 trillion, and savings volume declined slightly to $1.22 trillion in 2011, and member penetration rose to 7.8% in 2011.

The complete global CU report can be found at

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