Critics of credit union-bank mergers have it all wrong


Since 2010, the total number of banks and credit unions in the United States has dropped by an astounding 31% to only 10,537 financial institutions left.

Yet over the past two years, there have only been a handful of credit union-bank mergers, compared to nearly 400 mergers between banks. While not new, there has been much discussion leading to misinformation regarding credit union-bank mergers by the banking trade associations. This information is deeply misleading for several reasons.

First, while credit unions have grown slightly over the past decades — a 2% increase in market share from 1992 to 2018 — it is the big banks that are devouring community banks. Second, the 15 largest banks have grown substantially since the financial crisis, even with increased regulation and some incurring billions in fines for consumer abuses.

Lastly, the total market share of total assets of the largest 100 banks is 74.9%, crunching smaller banks down from 53.3% in 1992 to just 17.4% in 2019, according to recent data. And credit unions own just 7.6% of the market.


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