• Nationally, 42% of credit union offices (main offices and branches) are located in CDFI-qualifying
areas. Only 32% of bank offices are located in CDFI-qualifying areas.
• Credit unions’ physical presence in economically challenged areas tends to exceed banks’ presence consistently across geographic areas.
A detailed examination of metropolitan areas reveals that in 21 of the nation’s 25 largest metro areas, the percentage
of credit union branches located in economically challenged areas exceeds that of banks. In four metro areas, the difference
between the credit union and the bank presence is insignificant (a difference of plus or minus five percentage points).
Banks’ presence in economically challenged areas doesn’t exceed credit unions’ presence in any of the 25 largest metro areas. It’s interesting to note that 41% of Americans live in the 25 largest metro areas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
More banks than credit unions are located in CDFI-qualifying areas. That’s not surprising, because the nation’s 8,012 banks reported $13.1 trillion in total assets and more than 99,394 offices (main offices and branches) at year-end 2009. The nation’s 7,708 credit unions reported only $897 billion in total assets and 19,624 offices. Credit unions thus account for 6% of total depository assets and 16% of total depository offices.
Credit unions occupy a small segment of the depository market. But the closer you look at their operations, the clearer their dedication to people of modest means.
MIKE SCHENK is vice president, economics and statistics, for the Credit Union National Association. Contact him at 608-231-4228 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.