The survival of small credit unions in the future may depend on their ability to work together.
They must form networks to share information and resources, and form partnerships, according to industry leaders at the 2013 Annual Conference of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions in Baltimore.
These networks come in many forms, including those organized by service providers, leagues, or credit unions—all with the goal of avoiding mergers or liquidation.
Service Centers for Credit Unions contracts with about 20 small credit unions in Pennsylvania to provide services including data processing, staff training, loan processing, and basic office functions.
“I don’t want to see mergers—I don’t like to see you go by the wayside,” Brown says.
Credit unions can save money by sharing forms, office staff, and services through Service Centers for Credit Unions, Brown says. The company's largest credit union client has about $10 million in assets.
“We are not afraid of each other trying to steal members; we are helping each other,” Brown says. "That is the whole object, to share services.”
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle said Thursday that the field-of-membership rule changes proposed by the National Credit Union Administration at its open board meeting will provide greater choice for consumers, as well as flexibility for credit unions to better serve their communities.