In 1980, the first credit union was registered in Wales. The St Therese's Credit Union served the Catholic community living on a housing estate in Port Talbot. In the 1990s membership of credit unions in Wales grew as credit unions helped to deliver
anti-poverty and Financial Inclusion policies in cooperation with local authorities and national charities. By 1997, 31 credit unions were registered in Wales. Following mergers between smaller credit unions the number of registered credit unions in Wales
reduced to 26 by 2010. Between them the 26 credit unions achieve all-Wales coverage Many of the issues now facing Welsh credit unions are echoed in the experiences of credit unions in different places, at different times, and at different stages of development.
Some of these issues include growth and efficiency, mergers, sustainability and professionalisation. Many credit unions in Wales have sought models and ideas from credit unions at home and abroad mainly Ireland and North America. Credit unions in Wales have
played a significant role in reaching under-served and excluded communities. They have been a particular safety net for many in rural communities who have increasingly restricted access to affordable financial services. New figures released by the Bank of
England have shown the dramatic growth of the credit union movement in Wales over the last 15 years. The average annual rate of membership growth over the last three years has also been greater in Wales than in any other part of the United Kingdom. In
2016 Wales served over 79,000 who were saving £36.6 million and borrowing £21.6 million. There are over 14000 junior members saving in the credit unions of Wales,