Credit union industry at-a-glance (1Q19)

Credit union membership grew 4.0% year-over-year and share growth accelerated 65 basis points quarter-over-quarter. What else happened in first quarter?

Credit unions have a business model distinct from other financial institutions — one in which members are owners, and their financial wellness is the credit union’s top priority. At the start of 2019, one clear priority for credit unions was enhancing the entire member experience — from opening a checking account, to applying for a first mortgage, and everything in between.

While rates are important, it’s not the only part of the credit union experience that matters. It’s more important than ever for credit unions to invest in technology, products, and services for their members and employees. The rise of fintechs and other competition put pressure on credit unions to enhance members’ digital experience in conjunction with physical, in-branch level transactions. “We’re seeing credit unions investing time and energy into creating experiences beyond rates to attract new members,” says Alix Patterson, chief experience officer at Callahan & Associates.

Industry Performance

The number of credit unions in the country declined from 5,646 in the first quarter of 2018 to 5,451 in the first quarter of 2019. As of March 2019, there were 3,350 federally chartered credit unions and 2,101 state-chartered credit unions. The year-over-year decline of 195 credit unions is consistent with long-running consolidation trends.


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