Credit unions are sandwiched. On one side, they have the big banks, with their sprawling balance sheets, rock bottom cost of funds and deep reservoirs of resources. On the other side, they have to make sense of the disruptive FinTech upstarts that threaten to upend the banking model and consign sleepy backwater institutions to the outdated curiosities of history along with the internal combustion engine.
It’s easy to get caught up in the predictions of the demise of small financial institutions. The number of credit unions in the US has declined by almost 30% during the last 10 years from 7,597 in 2010 to 5,354 as of June 2020.
However, dig a little further, and we see that credit union membership in the US has grown by 3% per annum over the last 10 years, much higher than the country’s 0.75% annual population growth rate.
continue reading »