The cooperative financial services industry counted 5,492 credit unions among its ranks as of Dec. 31, 2018. Versus one year prior, that’s 197 fewer institutions, 194 of which were merged or acquired. The year closed out with 3,376 federally chartered and 2,116 state-chartered credit unions.
Despite continued consolidation within the industry, credit unions still operated 21,204 branches throughout the country. At year-end 2018, credit unions served on average 5,600 members per branch. The average amount of deposits per branch was $58.5 million. That’s an increase of 4.6% from 2017 as deposit growth outpaced branch growth.
But over the years, delivery channels have evolved to include much more than brick-and-mortar branches. An increase in demand for technology combined with falling branch traffic has prompted credit unions to scale back the square footage of branches and incorporate technology into daily operations.
Credit unions operated 16,117 ATMs throughout the country as of Dec. 31, 2018. That’s an annual increase of 2.8%. Also as of Dec. 31, 62.1% of U.S. credit unions reported having mobile banking offerings. Seventy-two percent reported offering e-statements, which is the most popular electronic service. Other common electronic services include bill pay, new member applications, and new loan applications. At year-end, 66.7% of credit unions offered bill pay. For new member and loan applications, 40.8% and 54.9%, respectively, offered those through the virtual channel. With more members on the go, remote deposit capture is also becoming more important. Adoption rates of this service more than doubled annually, from 20.1% as of Dec. 31, 2017, to 43.7% at year-end 2018.
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