The buzzword we have been hearing a lot of lately is ‘merger.’ Credit unions are merging left and right, particularly boutique credit unions. But is a merger the best option?
Some credit unions will stand firm and tell you that there will never come a day when they should consider it. Others are barely floating above water and may be exploring the advantage of joining forces. The good news is that there is a mountain of support and options available to these boutique credit unions. These include State Leagues, CUNA, NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI), and CUSOs just to name a few.
In a recent article posted by The Financial Brand, in 1969, the number of federally insured credit unions in the U.S. peaked at 23,000 and today, there are just over 5,100, even as the total number of members and assets continues to grow. It appears mergers aren’t such a new occurrence.
Some common areas that boutique credit unions may be struggling with are outdated technology, keeping Board leadership, increasing engagement, member growth, generating income, and dealing with increasing costs overall.
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